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Philosophy of the Ripple Effect



The Ripple Effect is built on the Spectrum of Prevention model first conceptualized by Larry Cohen, of Contra Costa Health Servicesí Prevention Program. The Ripple Effect believes that change is necessary at multiple levels of society if we are ever to be successful in the goal of reducing or ending domestic violence. Moreover, The Ripple Effect seeks to empower individuals to take action within their respective spheres of influence to effect change, and to produce a society where violence among loved ones is not tolerated, excused, or allowed to continue.


The Spectrum of Prevention emphasizes planning and action to promote prevention efforts on multiple levels:


Strengthening individual knowledge and skills


The Ripple Effect’s training and community education programs and services are designed to increase knowledge and expand upon existing skills of individuals, that we may work more effectively and sensitively on the issue of domestic violence.


Promoting community action


The Ripple Effect’s community awareness campaigns and outreach events build upon the increase in knowledge and skills, and encourage individuals within the community to take responsibility to work together to eliminate domestic violence.


Educating providers


The Ripple Effect works with police officers, attorneys, judges, social workers, mental health professionals, court administration, public health officials, politicians, teachers, university professors, school officials, pastors and others involved in social services to understand the intricacies of domestic violence and how it plays out in victim's (and their children's) lives. This approach increases the sensitivity of each provider and their agency to work on domestic violence systemically, rather than on an individual case-by-case basis, where there is often a break-down between service agencies in terms of communication, policy, and desired outcomes.


Fostering coalitions and networks


The Ripple Effect is intimately involved in many coalitions locally to promote collaboration and a seamless system of services to all involved in domestic violence, including the City of San Jose’s Family/Domestic Violence Task Force, and the Domestic Violence Council of Santa Clara County, the Juvenile Domestic Violence and Family Court Committee, the "Greenbook" Implementation Team, and the Violence Prevention Network, and the Interfaith Collaborative on Family Violence, among others. Additionally, The Ripple Effect has spearheaded efforts to promote partnerships with the Disabilities Access Commission, the Elder Abuse Committee, and to form a network to recognize the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, and to partner with neighboring counties wishing to form similar alliances on domestic violence issues.


Changing organizational practices


The Ripple Effect has sought to infuse domestic violence expertise into the county mental health system, to equip schools to incorporate domestic violence information into the curriculum and to take instances of teen dating violence seriously, to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities to all domestic violence services throughout the county.



Mobilizing neighborhoods and communities


The Ripple Effect has been on the cutting edge in mobilizing animal lovers to work together toward programs for domestic violence victims who cannot take their pets into a shelter; in engaging the faith communities to work together to end domestic violence in their congregations; in teaming with the Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County to provide prevention education to the youth and leaders they serve; in working with ethnic groups to relay domestic violence information to their communities and to advocate for local leadership on these issues.


Influencing policy and legislation


The Ripple Effect has testified on behalf of the County’s Violence Prevention Action Plan; has advocated for educational requirements on domestic violence in the primary and secondary school levels; as well as for legislation requiring teacher preparation on domestic violence issues; and has developed a policy plan to finance mental health services for domestic violence victims and survivors, their children, and their families.

“Thanks for your faithfulness to ministering to those in need of help. May God continue to bless your efforts.”

—a community member
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“The Ripple Effect is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence. We believe that everyone deserves a life free from abuse.”


Copyright © 2008 The Ripple Effect

PO Box 36106 . San Jose, CA 95158

Telephone: (408) 225-2381 . Fax: (866) 696-3789