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Increasing Victim Safety and System Accountability: Evaluating a Collaborative Intervention Between Health Care and Criminal Justice, Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
Texas Women's University
This document discusses a collaborative intervention between health care and criminal justice to increase domestic violence victim safety.
An advocacy-case management intervention was performed by registered nurses as part of a partnership between justice and health care. The intervention was offered to 75 women qualifying for a protection order against a sexual intimate. An additional 75 women were followed as a control group. All 150 women were recruited into the study and interviewed over a 28-day period during January and February 2001. Interviews were repeated at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. The research setting was a special family violence unit of a large urban District Attorney’s Office that served an ethnically diverse population of 3 million citizens. The objectives were to increase victim’s safety and increase system processing of protection orders. The advocate offered suggestions for adopting safety behavior such as removing weapons, hiding money, and hiding extra house and car keys. They called appropriate offices to ascertain if essential papers had been received and how many attempts have been made to serve legal papers to the abuser. The results of the research show that adoption of safety behaviors quickly increased for women in the intervention group. During the first week of the intervention, the percentage of applicable safety behaviors practiced increased from 69 percent to 84 percent. Results also show that the number of protection orders received by the intervention women were not significantly higher than women receiving standard protection order processing. There was no significant difference in the number of days required to process a protection order for the intervention group women compared to the control group women. Frequency and severity of violence, both threats of abuse and actual physical assault, as well as stalking and risk factors of femicide significantly decreased for women in the intervention and control groups over time. Health status and physical functioning significantly improved for both groups of women over time. Abused women offered a safety intervention at the time of applying for a protection order continued to practice safety behaviors for 18 months. 4 exhibits
Date Created: November 13, 2003