With the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health will partner with agencies across the state, including the West Virginia Behavioral Health Workforce and Health Equity Training Center at Marshall University, to launch Weave West Virginia: Weaving Together Communities of Support for People Experiencing Substance Use and Domestic Violence.
Weave West Virginia addresses the often-overlooked intersection of intimate partner violence and substance use disorder, particularly for pregnant and postpartum people. Intimate partner violence, including substance use coercion, is a major barrier to health care and social services that often prevents survivors from seeking support. This project will respond to the issue by building upon West Virginia’s existing statewide networks and training front-line providers on how to effectively serve this population.
In order to achieve its goals, the project will build on the leadership and expertise of partner agencies across West Virginia including the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Behavioral Health, the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership and the Marshall University Research Corporation’s West Virginia Behavioral Health Workforce and Health Equity Training Center, to increase access to and coordinate services between substance use disorder treatment services, domestic violence advocates, and healthcare providers.
“Weave West Virginia is a partnership deeply connected to West Virginians” said Dr. Jeffrey Coben, interim cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. “Safety and support are crucial to the affected population and this initiative is an embodiment of West Virginia communities coming together to weave a strong, connected system of support where community is at the core.”
The need for integrated networks that address the needs of individuals experiencing both intimate partner violence and substance use disorder is by no means limited to West Virginia. Weave West Virginia’s experience will provide a model for other states to improve the health of pregnant and postpartum people across the country.