Offshoot of MSU’s Community Advocacy Project Wins Award

Professor Nicole Allen of the University of Illinois has replicated and modified The Community Advocacy Project for over 10 years. A former student of Dr. Sullivan’s, and MSU alum, she recently won the 2014-2015 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. Due to her efforts, the Advocacy Project at University of Illinois now serves girls involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Advocacy Project has provided a superb undergraduate offering, supported hundreds of women and girls, and has mobilized over 18,000 hours of service for these vulnerable populations who are often grossly underserved by the traditional service delivery system.

The Community Advocacy Project (CAP), first developed at Michigan State University by Psychology Professor Cris Sullivan, involves providing strengths-based and community-based advocacy services to survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Highly trained paraprofessionals, after receiving intensive supervision, work with survivors of domestic abuse (and their children), helping them obtain the community resources and social support they desire.

Experimental, longitudinal studies funded by NIMH demonstrated that the intervention decreases women’s risk of re-abuse and improves their psychological well-being. The project is one of the few evidence-based interventions for domestic violence survivors in the country, and is listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices as well as The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.

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