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Benefits and Challenges of Community Mobilization for

Domestic Violence Programs

• Expands the base of community support • May create tension for the organization,
for the organization including deciding how much authority will
be given to activist groups associated with
• Brings new volunteers who otherwise the organization to decide the agenda
might not get involved in your organization
• May create backlash/tension as a result of
• Deepens the analysis of transformation a more direct action agenda
and provides an opportunity for the
organization and individuals to evolve • Requires leadership skills that may not
readily exist within the organization
• Creates public presence/pressure to
change laws, policies and practices that a • Requires expanded personal commitment
single individual could not accomplish or from people doing the work, i.e. walking
may be at risk to accomplish the talk

• Infuses new energy into the organization • Can open the door to new
constituencies/communities; is the
• Promotes community ownership for a organization committed to doing whatever
problem and expands the base of support it takes (e.g. dealing with institutional
for the work racism)?

• Offers women’s organizations an • Requires an intense commitment of

opportunity to work in partnership with resources and leadership; community
progressive men in the community mobilization may be perceived as less
important than direct services, requiring
• Creates strategies that are effective in consensus or buy-in on priorities
reaching underserved populations and
communities of color by directly involving • May bring up internal tension because a
people from those communities community mobilization agenda can
challenge the status-quo mindset of the
• Helps organizations develop new organization
leadership skills in the area of community
development • Challenges the organization to decide
what kind of partnership it wants in
• Helps promote sustainability for work working with men at the community level ;
(beyond funding cycles for projects) and may require new training program for
long-term commitment to a social change women and men working as allies
• Challenges the organization to develop
• Helps all of us celebrate positive change new ways of working with youth as agents
in our communities of change instead of recipients of services

©1999 Transforming Communities Learning and Training Institute Manual.