Asset Building and Individual Development Account Resources for Domestic Violence Victims
The Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Family Violence Prevention and Services Program has collaborated with the Office of Community Service’s Assets for Independence Program to empower victims of domestic violence by enabling them to build financial assets. This collaboration launched the the Building Assets for Domestic Violence Survivors initiative in October of 2010. The initiative aims to expand the network of Individual Development Account experts and domestic violence service providers with the skills to work with survivors on asset building. Individual Development Accounts are matched savings accounts that enable low-income Americans to save money.
The purpose of the collaboration is three-fold:
- Expand asset-building services to domestic violence survivors and hone strategies for how best help them achieve greater financial strength. FVPSA and AFI are working to increase the number of partnerships between domestic violence and asset-building agencies. A toolkit and training will be provided to grantees from both communities, with a focus on safety planning, starting asset building conversations, and building a continuum of collaboration.
- Develop fact sheets and awareness materials about connecting survivors to asset building programs, enhancing asset building programming in local communities, and incorporating sustainable partnerships.
- Help to raise the visibility of existing collaborations and successes within both the domestic violence and asset-building communities.
Most recently the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence, a FYSB grantee, has created a specialized collection of online resources that support capacity building of the domestic violence field, Assets for Independence grantees, and financial services providers. Entitled Asset Building and Individual Development Accounts, the collection was created to assist advocates working on asset building and Individual Development Accounts with survivors of domestic violence. The collection is housed in the NRCDV’s Violence Against Women Online Resource Center.
Asset Building and Individual Development Accounts includes the following resources:
Applied Research Paper
“Asset Building Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors,” by Cynthia K. Sanders in consultation with Meg Schnabel (November 2011)
This paper discusses asset building programs, including some of the benefits of asset ownership and the importance of such programs for domestic violence survivors. The lack of literature on asset building and domestic violence issues is highlighted, implying a need for further research.
“Asset Building Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors, an Interview with Cynthia Sanders,” by Sheetal Rana for VAWnet, the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (January 2012)
In this podcast, Sheetal Rana of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse interviews Cynthia Sanders, author of the VAWnet applied research paper “Asset Building Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors.” Dr. Sanders discusses the importance of asset building to domestic violence survivors, key themes from the research, and implications for new directions in policy, programs and practice.
Additional information about the Building Assets for Domestic Violence Survivors initiative: www.idaresources.org.