Urban Advocacy Corps

Our mission is to reduce intimate partner violence in Detroit by improving the community response, increasing availability of resources and heightening awareness. We are advocating for safer, empowered communities. In pursuit of these goals, we conduct research, build collaboration, and take targeted action. Read on to learn more about the importance of addressing domestic/intimate partner violence in Detroit, our current efforts, and how you can help support this work.


In 2016, 10,012 crimes involving domestic violence were reported to the Detroit Police Department (DPD), resulting in an estimated cost of $446 million. Intimate partner violence may result in physical injury or death and generates costs associated with medical and mental health care, lost earnings, decreased quality of life, policing, incarceration, and other criminal justice system expenses. From 2008 to 2015, the city of Detroit experienced an unprecedented 30% reduction in the total number of reported Part I violent crimes. However, during this period of overall declining violence, reported crimes involving intimate partners increased, signaling a need for a new and effective approach. Achieving further reductions in Detroit’s violent crime requires reducing IPV, which accounts for approximately 25% of the city’s aggravated assaults. In comparison to national statistics that attribute 15% of violent crimes to domestic violence.

Recognizing that intimate partner violence in Detroit has remained stubbornly unaffected by traditional interventions, the Center began to explore the intricacies of the problem through systematic interviews of leaders in the advocacy and criminal justice community, literature reviews, and work groups. From this, the Center has collaborated with community stakeholders, law enforcement, and other partners to develop and implement programs to address this pressing issue.


AmeriCorps Urban Safety Domestic Violence Advocate Program (AMUS DV)

The AmeriCorps Urban Safety Domestic Violence Advocate program embeds advocates in DPD precinct offices to support IPV survivors. Our advocate members are often the first people to reach out to survivors after a police report, which enables us to provide quick direction on the complex navigation of the criminal justice system. Regardless of survivors’ decisions to pursue criminal prosecution, advocate members offer assistance with developing personalized safety plans, petitions for personal protection orders (PPOs), and connection to other supportive services, such as counseling and shelter. AmeriCorps members also increase awareness of IPV by serving side-by-side with police officers and other systems personnel.


Community Advocacy Project (CAP)

The Community Advocacy Project (CAP) is an intensive, survivor-centered, strengths-based, intervention that is designed to support survivors of intimate partner violence in regaining control of their lives. CAP is centered on helping survivors move forward through the achievement of short-term goals they set while focusing on helping them to strengthen their resilience and skills that will ultimately inform their healing and recovery.  CAP advocates receive 40-hours of certified training and intensive supervision to work with and on behalf of survivor participants 8 hours per week over 10 weeks. CAP advocates meet survivors wherever they are, in their home or in the community. The program is evidence-based and has shown to reduce the occurrence of IPV even two years after program completion.

CAP moves beyond individual level advocacy and creates system change. Advocates open resource pathways for survivors through direct contact with community based organizations. Members of the CAP program avail themselves for awareness opportunities by conducting information sessions, attending community events, and networking with other community services.


Creating safer spaces

This team of organizers aims to increase capacity to implement alternative community-based solutions that create safer spaces in Metro Detroit. A transformative, collaborative project that calls to action community members and professionals to develop and enact a collective response to partner abuse and intersectional-based violence.

If you are interested in hosting a community conversation, contact Sara Thornton at ez8925@wayne.edu for more information.


Wayne County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (FRT)

The Center initiated and coordinates the Wayne County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. Authorized by the Domestic Violence Act, 1978 PA 389, MCL 400.1511, the review team is charged with reviewing homicides and near fatal-incidents which resulted from intimate partner violence in Wayne County. Its mission is to prevent future DIPV cases from escalating into murder or suicide by creating system change recommendations. Representatives from local and state level non-profits and government agencies participate in bi-monthly meetings to conduct case reviews, develop recommendations, and produce materials to share information.



Information is not as free as you may think! Please contribute to spreading awareness of IPV by visiting http://www.cus.wayne.edu/donate, select "Other" and type “Urban Advocacy Corps.”

Join our team! We have on-going openings for AmeriCorps & internship opportunities. Contact Sara Thornton at ez8925@wayne.edu for more information.