Moakley, Maureen [faculty advisor, Department of Political Science]
domestic violence, Little Compton, rural outreach
This idea for this project came from a semester long internship at the Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties. It was through this internship that I found my passion for promoting awareness about domestic violence. My interest in rural intimate partner violence began when I started preliminary investigation on the barriers rural women face because of their geographic placement. Rural women face many more obstacles when suffering intimate partner violence than their urban counterparts. Isolation and distance are the major issues that plague rural women. The only rural community in Newport and Bristol counties is Little Compton, which is located about thirty to forty-five minutes from the main offices in Newport and Warren, Rhode Island.
This project, in addition to preliminary literature review, included a needs assessment. To complete this assessment, I conducted an investigation on the statistics of Little Compton and compared them to common standards in the literature. Then, I interviewed various members of the Little Compton community to better understand the unique circumstances of this community. Through interviewing, I was able to determine what the perceived notion about intimate partner violence is in various members of the community. Also, the interviews helped shape my strategies for promoting rural outreach in the most effective manner.
My goal through this project was to provide the Women’s Resource Center with the knowledge they previously lacked about this community. By using this assessment, they can implement strategies to combat intimate partner violence in this area. Domestic violence is a silent threat to rural communities because of unique challenges that simply do not exist in other environments. Through my project, I hope that programs can be put into place to secure the safety for battered women and promote education for all members of the community.