Survey Measures Success Of APIA Services For Victims Of Crime
In a recent grant application, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) laid out the facts: There were 89 assaults in the region in 2014.
There were also 102 domestic disturbances and three sexual assaults, according to the nonprofit's data.
Those numbers may pale in comparison to other parts of the state, but Dr. Tara Ford said regional crime can have a profound ripple effect.
“Our communities are so small and familial," said Ford, regional administrator for APIA’s community health services. "Even if you’re not directly involved in an instance of violent crime, you can still be affected by it."
That’s why APIA asked the U.S. Department of Justice for help assessing its counseling and behavioral health services. The nonprofit won a grant with the department’s Office for Victims of Crime and its partner, the Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group.
The grant is allowing APIA to survey victims of violent crime. Ford said the goal is to identify where wellness services are working and where there’s room to improve.
“This award will really target and make sure that if there’s a gap, we’ll be able to fill it," she said.
The short online survey is open to residents of Unalaska, Nikolski, Atka, and St. George, as well as Belkofski tribal members in King Cove.
It asks questions like: Do you feel safe in your community? What types of crime have you experienced? And have you received counseling, housing, or other support during a difficult time?
Depending on the answers, Ford said APIA may use the grant to train more clinicians in trauma-informed care, hold community wellness events, or spread word of its services.
“It’s really important not to stigmatize individuals who have experienced a violent crime," she said. "APIA’s goal is to have a safe environment where anyone feels welcome to receive services, whether it’s at a community event or one-on-one therapy.”
APIA is accepting surveys until mid-February. After that, the nonprofit will analyze data and tweak their programming based on the feedback. Take the survey here.