Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $350,000)
Since the inception of domestic violence shelters and supportive services, there has been limited research on the needs of domestic violence victims or survivors, the range of services offered by these programs, and their effectiveness. In 2008, NIJ, with the support of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA) in ACYF supported a grant to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence for a study conducted by the University of Connecticut to fill this gap. The results of that study, Meeting Survivors' Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experiences (Shelter Study), provided invaluable information on the range of services that domestic violence shelters provide, the needs and experiences of survivors who turn to shelters for help, and the types of help that they receive. However, the recent Domestic Violence Counts 2008: 24-Hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence documented that of the over 60,000 victims of domestic violence that programs served on a given day, half received shelter and transitional housing services, and half received non-residential services. Non-residential services, such as counseling, legal advocacy, and support groups for adults and children, are an important and growing component of domestic violence program services.
The proposed study will build upon the original Shelter Study and will, using similar methods and instruments, document survivors' needs, the non-residential services offered by domestic violence programs, and the effectiveness of those programs. In addition, the study will analyze a subpopulation of male victims of domestic violence to assess whether such needs, services, and effectiveness levels differ.