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EVAWI > Resources > Making a Difference Project

In October 2003, EVAWI (in the United States) and Carleton University (in Canada) were awarded grants from the William H. Donner and the Donner Canadian Foundations to work with Sexual Assault Training & Investigations, Inc. (SATI) and Ed Renner, Evaluation Research, and the Founder of the National Action Plan Against Sexual Assault (NAPASA) to sponsor two national conferences, one within each country, to promote an integrated community response to sexual violence.

Attendance at each conference was selective, with scholarships awarded to joint applicant teams of 8 representatives from within the same community, representing the fields of: law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy, forensic medicine, and/or other sexual assault services. A competition was held to award conference scholarships to 8 participant-communities in each country. A total of 88 applications were submitted by U.S. community teams and 26 applications by Canadian community teams. For a detailed description of the selection process and a copy of the scoring sheet, please click here.

As a result of this competitive selection process, the following community teams were chosen to participate in the Making a Difference (MAD) Project:

   United States Communities

  • Bozeman, Montana
  • San Diego, California
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Austin, Texas
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Washington, DC

    Canadian Communities

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Halifax/Antigonish, Nova Scotia
  • Niagara Region (St. Catharines), Ontario
  • Summerside, Prince Edward Island
  • South Central Manitoba (Winkler)
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Whitehorse, Yukon

A team of 8 professionals from each of these communities originally participated in the 3-day conference that was hosted in each country during Phase I of the project. These professionals represented a range of disciplines involved in responding to crimes of sexual assault within the community, including:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Prosecution
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Crime Laboratories
  • System-Based Victim Advocacy (e.g., Victim-Witness Assistance)
  • Community-Based Advocacy (e.g., Rape Crisis Centers)

While only 8 professionals were able to attend the original 3-day conference, others have since joined the project. Within each of the 16 communities there are now many professionals involved in the international Making a Difference Project.

In addition, some of the communities that submitted applications but were not selected for participation in the conference have pursued independent funding to replicate the project on their own. EVAWI staff members continue to communicate with professionals in communities that submitted an application, regardless of whether or not they were selected to participate in the original training conference and ongoing project activities. It is hoped that they will benefit as well, so that the project can “Make a Difference” far beyond the boundaries of the 16 participating U.S. and Canadian communities.

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