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Dare to imagine how the world would look and feel if no one ever had to be afraid of violence and abuse in their homes and communities. Share the dream with others willing to start up a Community Action Team (CAT) and to mobilize other community members to take action.
Conduct outreach at schools, festivals, farmers' markets, ecology fairs and meetings of other community organizations. Talk with people in your community to find out their concerns about domestic violence or dating violence. Learn how to become an organizer.
Bring potential new team members together to explore different visions and ideas for making the community safer. Conduct fun, interactive exercises that help team members get to know one another and begin to formulate a vision and plan for action.
Develop a participatory planning process that values each member's skills and contributions. Work on planning strategies and building skills for an initial outreach activity or event.
Develop local statistics on the incidence of domestic violence. Gather information about which groups in the community may need help but aren't receiving it. Conduct research on community attitudes, beliefs and behaviors using focus groups, surveys and community forums.
Seek out additional community members who could be allies. These might be community leaders or other organizations that have a stake in preventing violence. Set up meetings to find out their opinions on the issue.
Use local events to highlight your CAT's activities. Use the media; write letters to newspaper editors; hold rallies; call for accountability from community leaders; ask for change.
Stage a public awareness event as a campaign starter. Be sure to let people know how they can participate in or support CAT activities.
Make use of every opportunity to learn from the CAT's successes and mistakes. Use simple evaluation tools to get feedback from audience members and participants at the CAT's outreach presentations and training events.