Joyful Heart Foundation’s Survivor Retreat Model

The demand for our signature Survivor Retreat Program for survivors of domestic and sexual violence exceeds its availability and reach. In response, we have undertaken an ambitious research project in partnership with Georgetown University to evaluate our retreats. Our research findings will be used to create a replicable Retreat Model that organizations can implement and offer to survivors, the healing professionals who serve them, and communities beyond our current capacity and scope.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

Conduct research

Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following LIVE metrics?​

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

The evaluation of the Retreat Model’s effectiveness will be led by Mary Ann Dutton, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University. Dr. Dutton is a well-respected clinical psychologist and researcher with over 20 years of extensive experience in the areas of intimate partner violence and alternative healing practices. The evaluation will include standardized quantitative assessment measures that track levels of PTSD symptoms, stress related outcomes, and the acquisition of healing and wellness competencies: self-efficacy, positive self-concept, increased self-compassion, healthy coping skills, decreased isolation, and increased connection among program participants. Qualitative assessments will target patterns of isolation and physical health factors that directly relate to survivors' abilities to access support from family, friends and community. Assessments will be captured in data collection periods: 2 weeks prior to retreat and 2 weeks and 3 and 6 months post retreat.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)


Network/relationship support