June 10, 2022

Since 2015, School of Social Work Teacher Jill Messing and her colleagues led an Arizona State University program that trained hundreds of students to help thousands of victims of domestic violence cope and move on with their lives.

Several months ago, reflecting on the question of whether Survivor Link‘s accomplishments could be realized at other universities, Messing reached out to colleagues at schools of social work across the country. After receiving many positive responses, she applied for a federal grant to fund the expansion of the program.

Student members of ASU’s Survivor Link program participating in a day of service in January 2020 packed more than 1,000 children’s books to distribute to domestic violence shelters in the Valley. Photo by Mark J. Scarp/ASU
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The grant, totaling just over $1 million, will extend program funding to ASU and establish Survivor Link at 13 additional campuses in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio , Pennsylvania and Texas.

“This funding will allow us to provide domestic violence funding and training to 99 social work students in 11 states,” including Arizona, said ASU director Messing. Gender Based Violence Office.

Seven years ago, Messing launched Survivor Link. The award-winning AmeriCorps program has provided multifaceted support to more than 3,000 domestic violence survivors and trained 445 ASU student members as domestic violence advocates in conjunction with the Arizona Coalition to End Violence. sexual and domestic violence.

Survivor Link is among the recipients of the annual award AmeriCorps Public Health award, a collaboration between AmeriCorps, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The collaboration is investing $400 million over five years to help address public health needs and advance more equitable health outcomes for socially vulnerable groups.

“The goal of our project is to build the capacity of public health organizations and complementary non-profit and government organizations to respond to domestic violence in their local communities, thereby enabling the organization to provide sustainable and effective services. to address domestic violence and increase the reach of the program,” said Messing.

With the new funding, which begins in August, Survivor Link will also provide future social workers here and on other campuses – who have been trained in domestic violence response – opportunities to pursue careers in health-related fields. public, she said.

“The program has the potential to make a great contribution to public health across the United States by improving services and interventions for survivors and training the next generation of social workers to respond to domestic violence,” said said Messing.

The expansion of Survivor Link will help meet the growing need for public health workers to be better informed about domestic violence, as one-third of women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, Messing said.

“This funding will allow the success of Survivor Link at ASU, which has supported more than 3,000 domestic violence survivors and helped train hundreds of students as domestic violence advocates, to be brought to many other parts of the country,” said the Foundation’s professor. Elizabeth Lightfootdirector of the ASU School of Social Work.

“It is a tribute to the work of Professor Messing, his colleagues and their students that Survivor Link’s commitment to providing solutions and raising awareness will be established at 14 campuses nationwide.”

In 2020, ASU President Michael Crow awarded Survivor Link the President’s Medal for Social Integration. At ASU, Survivor Link student members have logged more than 190,000 hours of service engaging in daily interventions to help survivors understand their risks and develop safety plans, Messing said. Student members, who were trained by Survivor Link at ASU in conjunction with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, have won more than $1.2 million in scholarships, it said. she declared.

Messing said she plans to hire a head coach in July.

Once the program is operational in schools, each will have between three and twelve Survivor Link Public Health and AmeriCorps members, allowing students to work as a team to increase their knowledge and ability to provide evidence-based intervention.

In addition to ASU, the other schools are located at the University of Central Florida, Ball State University, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, Simmons University, University at Albany-State University of New York, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas-Arlington and University of Texas-Austin.