243275 Women's voices have the power to change community

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kelly Dunn, PhD, RN, PHCNS, BC , School of Nursing, The University of Texas HSC at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Background and Description of the Problem: The aims of this study were to foster active service learning of nursing graduate students about violence; to understand the meaning of violence and to evaluate how meaning changes following a community intervention; and to understand the processes of empowerment and personal development that were fostered by membership in the women's group providing the community intervention.

Methods: This was a participatory ethnographic study in which nursing students and nursing faculty gathered data through community surveys, participant observation, and individual and focus group interviews with youth and women members of Las Mujeres Nobles and Las Mujercitas to 1) evaluate the impact of skits depicting multiple forms of family violence on changes in community knowledge and awareness of family violence; and 2) describe the evolution of empowerment as a result of participation by women and youth within the women's group.

Results: Citizens in the community developed new understandings of family violence following intervention. The study of change processes occurring within this women's group provided rich data about the advancement of women who were concerned about family health and well-being.

Conclusions: There were very real effects of the voices of women and youth on the community and on members of the group. The impact of the group had ripple effects from the individual women and youth members to their social networks. Individuals joining together with a common goal and purpose can have a powerful influence on improving health in the community.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe an intervention that changed community knowledge and awareness of family violence. Examine the process of empowerment in youth and women.

Keywords: Service Learning, Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.