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Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System (Summary)

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1996
21 pages

This study describes how six communities have achieved changes in their response to domestic violence, largely within the justice systems.


The communities are Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City, Mo.; Carlton and Northern St. Louis Counties (rural counties in Minnesota); San Diego, Calif.; and San Francisco, Calif. This report provides several examples of how these communities have begun to move beyond the justice system to incorporate a broader number of organizations and stakeholders into their response to domestic violence. The findings illustrate how various approaches have developed based on each community's characteristics. A number of factors, including the history of coordination, resources, and even individual personalities, can all influence a community's effort. There is no single model of a coordinated response that will succeed in every community. Although the findings of this study do not provide definitive answers about the best approach to a coordinated response, they identify a number of important issues for agencies and stakeholders within a community to consider. Some general suggestions for criminal justice agencies are to formulate a response at each step in the process, make the response standard and predictable, define roles to involve the victim and ensure victim safety, and allow staff to specialize in domestic violence and also improve the response agency-wide. Suggestions for domestic violence service providers and advocates are to stay active and involved, be inclusive, and keep thinking about the best ways to help. Some general suggestions are also outlined for health care providers and other agencies and stakeholders as well as the community. 4 references

Date Published: October 1, 1996