The Rural Victimization Project

The Rural Victimization Project is funded through the Domestic Violence Unit, Office of Family Safety, Florida Department of Children and Familes, through funds awarded by the Violence Against Women Grants Office, U.S. Department of Justice. This project is an innovative effort to enhance the identification and assessment of rural victims of domestic violence. This tutorial serves to train urban professionals as well – simply skip the Rural Barriers chapter if it does not apply to your client population.

The Institute for Family Violence Studies has been seeking innovative ways to find and assist rural victims of domestic abuse. Because rural citizens live in smaller communities, and often long distances from town, it can be hard for them to find and receive services they need or would like to have. Also, many victims of domestic abuse are isolated in their homes and unable to get help. Some spend years with an abusive partner while no one notices that they are being mistreated.

In order to identify and assist these victims, the Institute has targeted social service workers and volunteers who live or work in rural communities on a regular basis. Because you care about your clients and tend to have a good relationship with each of them, you may have developed a trust which could allow victims to confide in you about their abuse. WIC and other health/nutrition program staff, once trained, can spot the signs of abuse and refer their clients who are experiencing abuse to the agencies and services that can assist them.

This tutorial is specifically designed to reach nutritional program staff and professionals who are in a position to identify and assist victims of domestic abuse. We hope that after completing this tutorial you will be ready and willing to identify and assist victims of domestic abuse who might otherwise go unnoticed.

About This Training Manual

This tutorial has been developed specifically for nutrition providers and their clients and is designed to allow for self-instruction or group in-service training. Each section includes learning objectives, narrative, case studies, and a quiz.

Topics include:

  • The dynamics of domestic violence
  • Characteristics of both perpetrators and victims
  • The possible connections between nutrition and domestic violence
  • The impact of domestic violence on children
  • The impact upon pregnancy outcome, breast-feeding, birth weight, and nutritional attention to young children by mothers who are being abused
  • Instruction in assessing domestic violence in clients
  • The role of nutrition providers in identifying victims of domestic violence
  • Assessing and overcoming rural barriers to assistance
  • How to access domestic violence resources.
  • References/Resources


Please refer to the glossary for definitions before beginning the training.

This tutorial is also available in the form of a training manual and accompanying video. To purchase these and other materials, please contact the Institute for Family Violence Studies at (850) 644-6303.

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