Improve Quality of Life

Improve Quality of Life

Research shows rates of domestic violence decrease in communities with access to quality education and health care, safe, affordable housing and transportation, healthy food, jobs that pay a thriving wage, and open, green space such as parks.

Strategies that are “place-based” focus on a whole set of issues a community faces, such as a lack of affordable housing and a lack of green space, and addresses them as interrelated, rather than as separate issues.

Investing in place – with residents and organizations leading the way to identify community needs and develop solutions – can increase quality of life for the people who live there and build community connection, helping to protect against violence.

Partner spotlight: Newport Health Equity Zone

The Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) is a citywide coalition mobilizing residents and resources of the North End and Broadway neighborhoods to make Newport a place where everyone can thrive.

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC), a member agency of the RICADV, serves as the backbone agency of the Newport HEZ and has been a funded partner on the RICADV’s CDC DELTA grant [internal link to that section] since 2003.

The Newport HEZ is about healthy people and places, working together with residents and local organizations to address issues that impact the quality of the places we live and the health and wellbeing of the people who live there. HEZ working groups include Housing, Arts and Culture, Greening Urban Spaces, Transportation, LGBTQIA+ Health, Food Justice and the Collective of Phenomenal Women.

The Newport HEZ is a place-based prevention strategy aiming to increase the protective factors that safeguard against abuse and reduce the risk factors that make it more likely someone will choose to be violent.

What is a Health Equity Zone (HEZ)?

The Rhode Island Department of Health established Health Equity Zones as place-based collaboratives designed to decrease health disparities in geographically designated communities in RI. Learn more.

Strategy spotlight: Increasing green, open space to prevent violence

Studies have shown neighborhoods with more open, green space and trees have lower rates of intimate partner violence and violent crime. Green space has also been linked to an increase in the factors that protect against domestic violence, such as higher levels of community connectedness.

The Greening Urban Spaces Working Group of the Newport HEZ advocates for new and improved parks and open space in places where HEZ residents want them and can access them easily. For example, the group is working to help make Miantonomi Park a more welcoming place. Prevention efforts have also included activating local parks through public art-making, farmers markets, and community conversations, stewarding biking and hiking trails, and planting trees.

With the goal of improving health and reducing violence, the Newport HEZ strives to empower residents with the skills they need to create community change. The HEZ supports residents to be leaders and make sure their voices are heard in local planning processes and city-level decisions that affect their lives, including those related to open space and parks.

The Greening Urban Spaces strategy is funded by the RICADV through Rhode Island’s CDC DELTA Impact grant.

The Greening Urban Spaces Working Group of the Newport HEZ also advocates for increased access to parks and open space as one of the key social determinants of health in the HEZ community.

Helpline Available 24/7

The confidential statewide Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-494-8100 or using the online chat here. The Helpline is for all victims of violent crime, including domestic and dating abuse, and those looking for more information to help a victim of violence.

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