This study will sample the experiences of at least 3,000 residents of domestic violence shelter programs in up to eight states. States will be selected to maximize the diversity of programs and survivors; they will include programs with a broad range of survivor racial/ethnic/cultural diversity, staff size, capacity, and specialization, as well as including all major national geographic regions and types of local economies.
Shelter residents will be asked to complete two brief surveys'one at the time of admission ('Shelter 1') and a different one as close as possible to shelter exit ('Shelter 2'). The two surveys are based on instruments developed and piloted as part of the 'Documenting Our Work' project. They cover such issues as, for Shelter 1, the survivors' shelter entry experiences, and the types of help they want (from a list of 36 items); and for Shelter 2, the degree to which they received the listed services, as well as nine short-term outcomes for themselves and three for their children. Shelter 2 also contains items regarding respectful treatment by shelter staff and special areas of service, in addition to questions about shelter rules and other issues or concerns. Both surveys also include demographic information (race/ethnicity, age, number of children and number with her in shelter, sexual orientation, and completed education).
Programs will also complete a brief survey that will include questions about the number of shelter staff, the services provided to residents, the shelter capacity, staff language capacity, the maximum length of stay, the population and demographic characteristics of the city/town in which the shelter is located, and any specialization the shelter may have.
Analysis will focus on descriptions of survivors and their needs, their experiences in shelter (the extent to which they obtained the services they wanted, their perceptions of treatment and issues they encountered), and immediate outcomes. Analysis will also examine the ways in which survivors' demographic characteristics and local program and community variables may be related to service receipt, perceived treatment, and outcomes.