Application - Solution Overview + Alignment

Solution Name

Standing with Survivors

One-line solution summary:

A community-based, multi-disciplinary, mobile crisis response team for survivors of intimate partner abuse.

What specific problem are you solving?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Many victims cannot afford an attorney to shepherd them through the complex, sometimes re-traumatizing legal process. Despite high domestic violence incidence rates in Fulton County, there is a shortage of affordable legal services for victims. Studies have shown that one of the most predictive factors of whether a survivor effectively breaks the cycle of violence is whether they receive access to quality legal representation in seeking protection the first time they have the courage to take that step. By building this rapid-response team, we will increase the likelihood that survivors connect with services “on the scene” the very first time there is a reported incident. Standing with Survivors aims to reach more survivors earlier in the cycle of abuse, and to do so in a manner that provides for equitable access to services, is holistic, trauma-informed, and preventative in nature, promotes de-escalation, and overall improved first-responder response to communities historically isolated by a lack of resources and other barriers.

Pitch your solution.

Standing with Survivors team is a neighborhood-based, multi-disciplinary, mobile crisis response team to serve as an alternative or complement to a traditional law-enforcement response. Mirroring a crisis response model, the specially trained advocates and social workers would be able to provide critical immediate legal services and provide community-based strategies towards restoration. These services are critical for victim safety and offender accountability, but many survivors cannot afford them, are not aware of free and pro bono resources, or choose not to use them because of mistrust of the criminal legal system. A mobile ‘safe haven’ on the scene would provide a safe space for advocates, counselors, and the survivor to talk through the details that are supportive and survivor-led.  Through these innovations – a satellite “safe haven” office and a trauma- equipped mobile outreach van – Standing with Survivors will ensure more equitable access to on site legal services. 

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

Atlanta is one of 22 Promise Zones set up across the nation which are each largely characterized by high poverty and unemployment rates. Standing with Survivors has selected the historic Westside community of Atlanta which includes the neighborhoods of English Ave., Vine City, Washington Park and Castleberry Hills. The area faces disproportionate rates of poverty (49.88%) coupled with unemployment (19.14%), and crime rate that is doubled in comparison to citywide statistics. The population size is approximately 17,781 and people younger than 35 years old comprise 74.3% of residents. Utilizing the Westside Empowerment Center as an additional location serving the community alongside the mobile van, equipped with a space to privately take pictures of injuries, assist law enforcement in securing a statement, and resource build alongside survivors to create an individualized safety plan. 

Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community

Where are you based?

Atlanta, GA, USA

Solution Team

  • Kenya Gould Social Worker , Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
  • Cynthia Pearson Program Manager, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
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