Domestic Violence

Introduction

Reported rates of domestic violence are quite high. Victims suffer not only from physical abuse, but also from low self-esteem, emotional and post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, and homelessness. In addition, they are often discouraged or prevented from attending work or a job training program. As a result, victims of domestic violence are likely to experience spells of unemployment and have high rates of job turnover. An emerging awareness of the depth and breadth of this problem is gradually forcing welfare agencies to design appropriate services in response. However, if services are to be effective, there is much to be learned and understood about what "appropriate" in this context means. Failure to address issues associated with domestic violence will place victims at greater risk of continued or increased violence and of long-term poverty. Welfare-to-work programs will need to focus on how to best address the complex needs of victims.

This section provides information on and addresses the following questions related to domestic violence among welfare recipients:

NEED FOR SERVICES:

Definition

Domestic violence, broadly defined, is abusive or aggressive behavior by a person in an intimate relationship with the victim. Such abuse or aggression takes physical, sexual, and emotional forms. Physical abuse encompasses a wide range of specific actions, including pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, and hitting with fists or objects; burning and scalding; assaulting with a gun, knife, or other weapon; and choking, strangling, and smothering. Sexual abuse includes rape, sexual molestation, and other forms of sexual trauma. Emotional abuse is characterized by repeated verbal criticism, psychological intimidation, and other types of behavior intended to humiliate, control, or undermine the independence of the victim. It can take the form of harassment, coercion, threats, and stalking.

ESTIMATION OF NEED:

Percentage of Welfare Population Facing This Issue

Current Victims of Domestic Violence

National estimate: 24 percent(1)
State/local estimates: 15 to 34 percent

Ever Victims of Domestic Violence During Adult Life

State/local estimates: 29 to 65 percent

Tables 7 and 8 in Appendix A provide estimates of welfare recipients who are current victims of domestic violence. Table 9 provides state and local estimates of those who were ever victims of domestic violence. The distinction between current and past victimization is made because the difference between these two can vary substantially. However, research has shown that past victimization from domestic violence continues to affect current efforts at self-sufficiency (Bassuk et al. 1996; and Lloyd 1997b). Efforts to address domestic violence as a barrier to employment must include services that will meet the needs of clients who are current victims of domestic violence, as well as those who have ever been victims.

The ranges in estimates, presented in the boxes above, are primarily due to the following factors:

Relationship to Welfare Receipt

Relationship to Employment Status

Welfare Agency Approaches

The two critical program features of an agency's approach to addressing domestic violence as a barrier to employment are (1) identifying which clients are victims of domestic violence, and (2) determining the type of program or service to provide, including whether or not to grant a good cause waiver.

Client Identification

Identification of clients who are victims of domestic violence is a critical first stage in providing appropriate services. Domestic violence is best identified through voluntary disclosure of the problem by the victim. This self-disclosure is facilitated by a trusting, compassionate, nonjudgmental, and confidential environment, along with information that minimizes victims' fears and conveys the advantages related to disclosure. The sensitive nature of the topic and the increased risk that clients face once the situation is shared with others means that self-disclosure--and client identification--should not be expected to occur within a particular time frame. Because clients will feel initial reluctance to share this information and have concerns regarding the risks sharing poses, they must be able to self-disclose at whatever point they themselves deem it most appropriate.

The process of identifying clients who are victims of domestic violence comprises two steps: screening and assessment.

Screening refers to determining the probability that domestic violence exists, identifying signs and symptoms of domestic violence, notifying all clients of their potential eligibility for exemptions from certain program requirements if they are victims of domestic violence, and providing ongoing opportunities for individuals to voluntarily and confidentially identify themselves as victims of domestic violence.

Assessment refers to a detailed process for collecting information to determine what form domestic violence takes and the ways in which it affects a client's life. Careful, sensitive, and accurate assessment of victims of domestic violence requires a certain level of staff expertise. Proper assessment also includes assistance with decisions about which services to provide, how to handle current and future risks posed by the perpetrator, and how to weigh the trade-offs posed by the opportunity for a good cause exemption from participation requirements and efforts to enroll in training or to secure employment.(2)

A variety of tools and instruments are available to screen for and assess the extent to which domestic violence affects clients' lives. Many states have developed their own instruments and procedures for screening and assessment, allowing them to tailor instruments and procedures to fit the unique characteristics of their client populations appropriately. For example, Oregon and Colorado have already developed and are using screening and assessment instruments. These states have collaborated, to some extent, with local domestic violence advocacy and service organizations in the development of their instruments. In addition to these instruments, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides information on training materials and screening and assessment instruments. (Additional information on these various sources is provided under the sections entitled Program Models and Further Information.)

Program Strategies

As awareness grows about the prevalence of domestic violence as a barrier to employment for many welfare recipients, state and local agencies have begun to respond with new and varied programs to meet the diverse needs of victims. Many efforts are in the early stages of development and there is still much to be learned about effective service delivery. In addition, agencies and organizations other than human services departments have worked together to address problems related not only to victims of domestic violence, but also to the perpetrators. A number of community-based approaches are designed to convict and treat abusers. Though we are most concerned with programs designed to meet victims' needs, lessons from these other efforts help to demonstrate how welfare agencies might coordinate with other community-based programs. Because this review is concerned chiefly with examining what welfare agencies can realistically accomplish in response to client needs, it does not extend to broader responses that address issues related to welfare policy, child support enforcement policy, or law enforcement and criminal justice policies.

Our review of programs suggests that there are at least five broad program strategies used by agencies to address domestic violence. We categorize these strategies below. The distinctions drawn are not intended to suggest that agencies design programs around a single strategy or that these strategies are necessarily mutually exclusive. They are provided instead to foster thinking about the range of programmatic objectives possible, to help agencies define their own service needs, and to classify the programs described at the end of this section for agencies interested in pursuing further information. The five program strategies are as follows:

Client Identification. Programs with this strategy aim primarily to improve accuracy in identifying clients who are victims of domestic violence. They usually involve the use of screening and assessment tools and specialized training for welfare caseworkers on understanding domestic violence, identifying victims, and making appropriate referrals.

Client Confidentiality. While all strategies for assisting domestic violence victims include some measure of client confidentiality, these are programs whose direct intent is provision of a specific means of protecting the confidentiality of victims so that they can gain personal safety and independence from their abuser. That is, these are programs specifically designed to help victims re-establish certain important living routines, such as receiving mail, without facing the risk posed by a perpetrator's knowledge of their whereabouts.

Enhanced Case Management. Programs with this strategy intend to reduce domestic violence and alleviate the problems that result from it by providing enhanced case management services through, for example, intensive service teams, case staffings, and the co-location of domestic violence advocates or counselors in welfare offices. Enhanced case management is often provided in conjunction with additional services, including peer support groups; referrals for mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, shelter, and legal services; funds to facilitate relocation away from the abuser; and, in many states, temporary exemptions from work requirements through the Family Violence Amendment.

Service Coordination. Programs with this strategy aim to institute improved coordination systems or procedures between welfare agencies and a wide range of other community-based agencies and organizations, including police and probation departments, prosecutors' offices, courts, child protective services, child support enforcement, health and mental health care providers, domestic violence activists, and shelters. Because good cause waivers for victims of domestic violence can be granted by both TANF and child support enforcement systems, coordination between these two is particularly important. Coordination takes many forms, including organizational partnerships, formal referral procedures, expansion of available community resources, programs to treat abusers, and community education efforts to prevent domestic violence.

Employment Integration. Programs with this strategy offer employment-related services in combination with various supportive services to assist clients as they move from welfare to work. Such programs may combine case management services and domestic violence support with employment-related services such as literacy training, job readiness training, and job placement services.

Program Outcomes

Very little is known about the impact and comparative effectiveness of different types of welfare-to-work strategies that address client barriers to employment related to domestic violence. Although interventions implemented by welfare agencies to address victims' needs do show promise, they have not been rigorously evaluated. One recently implemented, comprehensive domestic violence program--the Options/Opciones Program in Chicago--includes plans for a quasi-experimental evaluation with a five-year follow-up period. This evaluation will do a great deal to increase knowledge about how programs designed to address victims' needs can affect outcomes related to employment and welfare receipt. In addition to program interventions, specific treatment strategies to address associated mental health problems among victims, including crisis counseling, brief and long-term psychotherapies, and medications, all may be helpful, but they too must be carefully evaluated to identify effective treatment approaches (Commonwealth Fund 1996).

Although we know little about the effectiveness of welfare agency strategies that serve victims of domestic violence, there is some evidence about the effectiveness of community-based strategies that directly aim to convict and treat the abusers. An extensive review of the evaluation literature on providing treatment for men who batter women, including mandatory arrest programs, concluded that some men can be helped to change their abusive behavior (Tolman and Bennett 1990). However, results have been mixed. Descriptive data from one of the programs highlighted in this report, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP), do suggest that abusers can be helped: battered women reported decreases in physical and psychological abuse as their abusers progressed through the mandatory DAIP treatment program; at one-year follow-up, over two-thirds of these women had not experienced physical abuse during the past three months (Shepard 1987).

Program Costs

Little is known about the costs to welfare agencies and other organizations of providing different types of domestic violence services. Programs with comprehensive service coordination strategies, which are inherently more costly than client identification and client confidentiality efforts, may require a substantial financial commitment by different agencies within the community. In contrast, the client confidentiality program highlighted in this report--Washington State's Address Confidentiality Program--operates at an average per person cost of only $158 per year. In the absence of cost information on all programs, however, it is not possible to compare particular program types.

Despite minimal data on program costs, a good deal is known about the high costs associated with domestic violence for both victims and society. The annual cost of domestic violence in New York City, for instance, is estimated at $370 million, which includes medical expenses, emergency room costs, lost work time, decreased productivity, and associated police, court, and detention costs (Victim Services 1991). Because of these high costs, domestic violence interventions are potentially very cost-effective. While program experience suggests that the benefits of domestic violence prevention and intervention programs do outweigh the costs, no data are available to support this claim or to determine what types of interventions are cost-effective (Laurence and Spalter-Roth 1996). Further research is warranted.

Program Implementation

Many state welfare agencies are currently developing or enhancing procedures to help staff identify, serve, and refer clients who are victims of domestic violence. Likewise, a diverse group of other organizations are involved with domestic violence issues at the community level, including police and probation departments, prosecutors' offices, courts, child protective services, child support agencies, health and mental health care providers, domestic violence activists, and shelters. These organizations all provide services that in some way affect victims. Through the experiences of all these organizations, various program implementation lessons have been learned about how to serve victims of domestic violence better, lessons relevant for welfare agencies as they help meet clients' needs and support their transition from welfare to work. Our synthesis of domestic violence issues leads to a discussion of implementation issues in three key areas: (1) program staff, (2) coordinated delivery of services, and (3) service capacity. Along with the discussion, we recommend steps welfare agencies should take to serve victims of domestic violence better.

Program Staff

If program implementation is to be successful, welfare agencies must make a substantial commitment to training staff on domestic violence issues, particularly on how to screen for domestic violence, ensure client confidentiality, determine an appropriate set of services, decide whether to grant a good cause waiver, and make referrals. Victims of domestic violence, particularly those receiving welfare, face a variety of risks and concerns about personal safety, childrens' safety, privacy, eligibility for welfare and child support benefits, child support enforcement, and legal issues. Staff must understand and develop the skills necessary to identify the safety, privacy, and other concerns victims face. In an implementation study of three programs, staff longevity was an important factor in successfully serving domestic violence victims (Horizon Research Services 1996). This finding underscores the important role that experienced, knowledgeable, and well-trained staff play in delivering services to victims of domestic violence.

Staff should be trained to act in a compassionate, nonjudgmental, trustful, and confidential manner; to recognize signs and symptoms of both victims and abusers; to use screening and assessment tools to identify victims; to uphold established confidentiality procedures; and to provide relevant information to clients on programs and services, programmatic waivers and exemptions, and legal requirements and options. Developing staff capacity to perform these roles requires informative training on both an initial and an ongoing basis. In conjunction with staff training, welfare agencies may want to consider hiring or contracting with a professional domestic violence counselor or advocate who can offer some supportive services on site, facilitate appropriate referrals for other services, and foster collaborative partnerships with other agencies and organizations.

Coordinated Delivery of Services

To serve victims of domestic violence successfully and ensure that they have access to necessary supportive services, welfare agencies should develop coordinated service delivery strategies with other agencies and organizations. Domestic violence affects victims and their families in various ways and involves many organizations in the community. Victims often face a variety of co-occurring barriers to employment that may stem from domestic violence, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, lack of safe and affordable housing, and lack of legal advocacy. To help victims move from welfare to work, meet their various needs, and improve their personal safety, welfare agencies must be able to provide or help clients obtain supportive services. To do so, welfare agencies should develop collaborative partnerships with a wide range of organizations in the community, including domestic violence service programs, mental health and substance abuse providers, advocacy groups, child protective services, child support enforcement, the police, public prosecutors, and other law enforcement personnel. A range of coordinated efforts are necessary to address victims' two sets of needs: needs that stem from risks posed by the perpetrator (addressed through coordination with, for example, child support enforcement and criminal justice systems), and needs that stem from personal difficulties associated with abuse (addressed through coordination with, for example, service programs, mental health and substance abuse providers, and housing agencies).

As relationships with these types of organizations are developed and strengthened, care must be taken to coordinate organizational goals and priorities. Communication across agencies, for example, through joint trainings and cross-agency committees, may help to foster mutual understanding, as well as to raise awareness of domestic violence issues, educate other organizations about welfare agencies' role in working with victims of domestic violence, establish formal referral procedures, and develop coordinated community strategies.

Service Capacity

To serve victims of domestic violence successfully, welfare agencies must assess the extent to which current local service capacity already assists these clients with their various needs and, where gaps exist, address shortages. Progress has been made in recent years in identifying, serving, and treating victims of domestic violence. However, the programs available to help victims are still small relative to the size of the problem (Commonwealth Fund 1996). In many communities, existing resources may not be adequate to offer services to those who need them in areas such as mental health, substance abuse, safety planning, housing, and employment. Because service capacity may be inadequate in a range of areas, a community-wide collaborative effort to meet these multiple needs may be necessary. Welfare agencies may wish to play a role in developing such collaborative service delivery efforts in order to expand services to domestic violence victims. The development of creative partnerships is likely to be necessary if victims of domestic violence are to be served and helped to move from welfare to work.

Program Models(3)

The following programs are presented alphabetically by state. The reader can determine the relevance of a program by noting its primary program strategy and geographic location and then refer to the brief descriptions and contact information on the subsequent pages. We have used primary objective(s) to assign program strategies, though a program may have many objectives.


Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence

San Diego Domestic Violence Council

San Diego, California

Program strategy: Service coordination

Location: One urban/suburban county


Colorado Office of Child Support

Model Office Project

Denver, Colorado

Program strategy: Client identification

Service coordination

Location: Four counties, urban/suburban/rural


Options/Opciones Program

Taylor Institute and the

Illinois Department of Public Aid

Chicago, Illinois

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Service coordination

Employment integration

Location: One urban community


Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services

Domestic Violence Awareness Training and Service Planning

Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Location: Statewide


Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Duluth, Minnesota

Program strategy: Service coordination

Location: Three counties, urban/suburban/rural


Oregon Department of Human Resources

Domestic Violence Plan

Salem, Oregon

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Location: Statewide


State of Washington

Office of the Secretary of State

Address Confidentiality Program

Olympia, Washington

Program strategy: Client confidentiality

Location: Statewide


Program Name/Contact

Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence

San Diego Domestic Violence Council

San Diego, California

Gael Strack

City Attorney's Office

San Diego Domestic Violence Council

619-533-5515

Program strategy: Service coordination

Location: One urban/suburban county

Brief Program Description

The San Diego Department of Health and Human Services has recently joined other local agencies that are part of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council (DVC). Since 1989, DVC has been working to reduce and prevent domestic violence in San Diego County by increasing community awareness on domestic violence issues, expanding efforts to prosecute batterers, and strengthening services and supports for victims and their families. The council includes a diverse group of more than 200 community organizations and individuals, including the city attorney's office, the police department, the probation department, the courts, child protective services, and, most recently, the local Department of Health and Human Services. Numerous working committees have developed action plans to address specific aspects of domestic violence, for instance, law enforcement, legal action, shelter and support, child abuse, treatment, education and prevention, and grants and data collection.

DVC efforts have involved the provision of domestic violence training for nearly all police department and other law enforcement staff; the development of protocols for law enforcement staff, prosecutors, and medical staff to follow when working with victims and batterers; the creation of a training curriculum for use with schoolteachers; and the sponsorship of activities geared toward adolescents. Through the work of the DVC, the police and other law enforcement staff have developed a more sensitive and helpful approach to working with victims and a more aggressive policy for arresting batterers and gathering evidence against them. The DVC also makes victims' advocates available through the city attorney's office. These advocates provide assistance and counseling to victims who pursue a legal course of action. Ongoing DVC activities involve strengthening coordinated efforts and training with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The work of the council is jointly funded by the organizations involved. Although comprehensive program cost data are not available, the city attorney's office alone spends more than $800,000 annually on a special domestic violence unit, including 8 attorneys, 2 investigators, and more than 10 other staff members.

Evaluation

The Urban Institute (1996) conducted an implementation study of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, along with five other communities' coordinated responses to domestic violence.

Findings

There is no information on program impacts. Descriptive crime data from San Diego County indicate that from 1991 to 1993, the number of domestic violence cases reported to the police nearly doubled, while domestic violence-related murders dropped by nearly 50 percent (Boyle 1995).

Program Name/Contact

Colorado Office of Child Support

Model Office Project

Denver, Colorado

Jessica Pearson, Esther Griswold

Center for Policy Research

303-837-1555

Program strategy: Client identification

Service coordination

Location: Four counties, urban/suburban/rural

Brief Program Description

Colorado's demonstration Model Office Project, funded by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, began in fall 1996 and was completed at the end of 1997. It examined the intake process relating to domestic violence and the use of good cause exemptions from child support regulations. The project focused most closely on welfare recipients who are victims of domestic violence and who need child support. The Colorado Office of Child Support (COCS) developed and implemented a standardized training plan and screening and assessment tools for intake workers in three county welfare and child support enforcement offices.

Welfare agency case workers (from the Office of Social Services) used a one-page form to screen all public assistance applicants for domestic violence. Afterward, and if appropriate, clients were given information on community resources and referred to the Child Support Enforcement Office for a good cause evaluation. At this point, child support intake workers used a more detailed assessment tool to probe the nature of the domestic violence in clients' lives and to offer good cause exemptions to needy clients.

Although the Model Office Project is not currently ongoing, the Denver Office of Social Services is now working with community domestic violence service providers to sponsor two paid staff in the Office of Social Services. It is intended that these staff will provide domestic violence support services to clients (for instance, help in gaining access to temporary shelter or obtaining a restraining order).

Evaluation

The Center for Policy Research in Denver, Colorado conducted a descriptive study of program participants (Pearson and Griswold 1998). In addition, they have collected systematic information on a sample of nearly 1,100 welfare applicants from four local Social Services offices in three different counties.

Findings

There is no information on program impacts.

Program Name/Contact

Options/Opciones Program

Taylor Institute and the

Illinois Department of Human Services

Chicago, Illinois

Rebekah Levin

Taylor Institute

773-533-2180

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Service coordination

Employment integration

Location: One urban community

Brief Program Description

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) funds more than 50 domestic violence prevention programs throughout the state. The Options/Opciones Program in the North Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago is one such program. The program, now in the early stages of implementation and development, intends to provide comprehensive, welfare-to-work services to victims of domestic violence. It also aims to provide educational services to communities. Viewed as a promising service delivery program model, Options/Opciones began implementation in mid-1997 and, after six months of operation, had served approximately 80 TANF recipients who are also victims of domestic violence. The program provides bilingual activities and services both within the local IDHS office and at a separate program site. It also works with IDHS and cooperating community organizations to increase understanding of domestic violence issues, develop community-based partnerships addressing domestic violence, and expand available community services.

Through its agreement with IDHS, Options/Opciones provides training on domestic violence issues to IDHS case management staff. The training includes the use of a domestic violence screening tool. If a woman discloses domestic violence through the IDHS assessment process, she is referred to an Options/Opciones staff person in a separate and confidential office at IDHS. This Options/Opciones staff person provides initial services, counseling, and safety planning. As necessary, and to partially satisfy the TANF work requirement, the client may be referred to the off-site Options/Opciones office for further services and support. Under full implementation, the program intends to offer the following additional services to clients: (1) case management services, including helping clients access emergency shelter, physical or mental health services, legal services, domestic violence treatment, literacy training, and job readiness and placement services; (2) a preemployment 10-week training program; and (3) weekly peer support groups.

Evaluation

An evaluation is being conducted by the Taylor Institute, in conjunction with the University of Michigan and the Joint Center for Poverty Research at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Researchers are collecting extensive descriptive data on participants at intake and plan to do so every six months over the next five years. The evaluation design includes plans for constructing a matched comparison group from another welfare office and comparing outcomes of this group with outcomes of the Options/Opciones treatment group. The evaluation also includes an implementation study. Taylor Institute staff are currently assessing program implementation and modifying the program model as necessary and appropriate.

Program Name/Contact

Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services

Domestic Violence Awareness Training and Service Planning

Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Vesta Kimble, Deputy Director

Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services

410-269-4603

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Location: Statewide

Brief Program Description

Beginning in fall 1996, Maryland's Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop and pilot-test a domestic violence training curriculum for administrative and frontline social services staff. The training model, which was developed in collaboration with the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, is intended to (1) better equip staff to identify and serve clients of TANF and other public assistance programs who may be victims of domestic violence, and (2) provide general education to the public about domestic violence. The county implemented the three-day training program in 1997, and the Maryland Department of Human Resources is now implementing the program statewide. The model draws on the one used by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota. Videotapes are incorporated into the training and used as instructional devices.

During Phase I of the initiative, the Anne Arundel Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the YWCA, conducted training for welfare administrators and various types of frontline staff, including welfare caseworkers, job counselors, child protective service workers, child support workers, and child care workers. Staff are trained to address the subject of domestic violence with all clients at initial intake and/or at reassessment. They are also trained to identify suspected domestic violence through subtle cues and indirect questions.

Upon identifying serious cases of domestic violence (either suspected or acknowledged), staff form an Intensive Service Team that includes a job counselor, a welfare caseworker, a social worker, and, if necessary, a child support worker. This team develops an immediate six-month action plan and follow-up plan for the client. If an Intensive Service Team is not warranted, frontline staff either provide appropriate services or make referrals for them. These services typically include counseling and legal advocacy, funds for relocation (for example, first month's rent and security deposit), and (in some cases) temporary exemption from the work requirements under the family violence option. In addition, a civil advocate and counselor are available in the county welfare offices to meet with clients and their families and to help the families file for ex parte and protective orders.

Evaluation

This program has not been formally evaluated.

Program Name/Contact

Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Duluth, Minnesota

Coral McDonnell

Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

218-722-2781

Program strategy: Service coordination

Location: Three counties, urban/suburban/rural

Brief Program Description(4)

The Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) is a comprehensive community-based program for handling domestic violence cases in the Duluth area, other areas of Minnesota, and other communities that have implemented the DAIP. Since the early 1980s, it has coordinated the responses of various community organizations to domestic violence cases, increased community awareness of domestic violence issues, strengthened procedures to screen for domestic violence, and expanded services and supports for victims and their families.

A diverse group of community organizations participate in the DAIP, including the police department, the prosecutor's office, the probation department, the public health department, district judges, social service providers, mental health agencies, and local domestic violence advocacy and shelter groups. Key ongoing activities include training for staff from participating organizations, the use of standardized law enforcement and treatment responses to hold assailants accountable, and the provision of services to assist victims and their families. Standardized law enforcement responses include a mandatory policy of arresting assailants when probable cause exists, as well as strong prosecution policies. Assailants found guilty typically receive minimum 30-to-60 day jail sentences, followed by a probationary period that includes participation in a 29-week education course. Services available to victims and their families include, for instance, temporary shelter, safety planning, peer support groups, court advocacy services, and supervision of visits between assailants and children.

The Duluth National Training Project offers training to other communities interested in implementing the DAIP program model; the model has been widely replicated (in both urban and rural areas).

Evaluation

Several studies of the program, both descriptive and quasi-experimental, have been conducted to examine outcomes related to either victims or assailants (Shepard 1987; and Shepard 1992). The Urban Institute (1996) also conducted an implementation study of the program. An impact evaluation is currently underway to compare enhanced DAIP strategies with past strategies; preliminary results may be available in 1998 (Shepard 1996).

Findings

One descriptive study examined victim survey data and found that battered women reported decreases in physical and psychological abuse as their abusers progressed through the program (Shepard 1987). At one-year followup, this same study showed that over two-thirds of battered women had not experienced physical abuse during the past three months.

Program Name/Contact

Oregon Department of Human Resources

Domestic Violence Plan

Salem, Oregon

Shirley Iverson, Field Services Manager

503-945-6902

Carol Krager, Domestic-Violence Lead

503-945-5931

Program strategy: Client identification

Enhanced case management

Location: Statewide

Brief Program Description

The Office of Adult and Family Services (AFS) within the Oregon Department of Human Resources recently developed and implemented a domestic violence service plan that includes comprehensive staff training and domestic violence services for needy clients. Each AFS district office appoints a domestic violence contact person to coordinate training and services. All welfare agency staff receive training (both initial and ongoing) on how to identify and refer victims of domestic violence. The training model includes the use of a screening and assessment tool to identify victims. The model was developed by AFS with input from the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Once clients are identified as needing domestic violence support services, AFS staff develop an individualized self-sufficiency plan for the client and the client's family and begin holding cooperative case staffings to discuss the family's situation and progress. The staffings are designed to connect victims with needed resources, such as mental health counseling and domestic violence treatment. Representatives from local partner agencies may be included. Victims may also receive help obtaining special funds through the state Emergency Assistance Program (EAP). In addition, life skills training and a new leadership developing training course ("Developing Capable People") provide additional support to domestic violence victims, as well as other AFS clients.

Local agencies have wide latitude in providing additional services. In addition to the core set of services outlined above, some local agencies offer on-site domestic violence resource rooms, on-site domestic violence counselors, and educational victim support groups. In addition, staff in some agencies wear badges that say, "Does your partner hurt you…I will listen." Other local agencies participate in community-oriented domestic violence initiatives that may include the police department and other members of the justice system.

Evaluation

There has been no formal evaluation of this program. AFS recently conducted a review of more than 4,600 case files from three districts (two rural, one urban). The case files reviewed were for those clients who had been identified as having made little progress toward work, though they were not necessarily victims of domestic violence. Interviews with clients supplemented the case file reviews.

Findings

There is no information on program impacts. However, the case file reviews revealed that half the welfare recipients in these three districts who had made little progress toward work were current or past victims of domestic violence; that is, they reported that they had been physically or sexually abused at some time during their lives (Iverson, no date).

Program Name/Contact

State of Washington

Office of the Secretary of State

Address Confidentiality Program

Olympia, Washington

Margaret McKinney, Program Manager

Address Confidentiality Program

360-753-2972

Program strategy: Client confidentiality

Location: Statewide

Brief Program Description

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), in operation since 1991, is a statewide program in Washington that provides a confidential substitute address for victims of domestic violence who wish to escape an abusive environment. Participants' mail is forwarded by the state to the confidential address. The program protects the confidentiality of participants' real addresses, as well as their voting and marriage records. It also provides them with special identification cards that can be used when applying for a driver's license or child support in the state of Washington. Neither federal agencies nor private organizations are required to accept the substitute address, although they often do.

The ACP office provides information about the program to local domestic violence service providers and advocacy groups throughout the state. These organizations make client referrals, as appropriate, to the ACP program. Referred clients complete their application to the program in person at a local victims' assistance program. Welfare clients referred to local domestic violence service providers learn about ACP from these service providers. There is no fee for participating, and corroborative evidence of domestic violence is not required. During early 1998, the ACP program office developed a brochure that it plans to circulate to local social service agencies statewide.

Over 940 people, including more than 450 parents and their children, participated in the ACP in 1996. The cost of the program is estimated to be $158 per participant per year.

Evaluation

This program has not been formally evaluated.

Further Information

Further information on issues related to domestic violence is available from the following

Organizations

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

202-544-7358

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a nonprofit association of grassroots shelter and service programs for battered women that serves as a national information and referral center for the general public, the media, battered women and their children, and related agencies and organizations, including welfare agencies. Services and products include advocacy, a national communications network, various publications related to domestic violence, and technical assistance in developing innovative model programs that address the needs of battered women.

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

800-537-2238

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides information on domestic violence training materials, screening and assessment instruments, and various policy and programmatic issues related to domestic violence.

National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense and Education Fund

212-925-6635

The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund is a legal advocacy organization focusing on issues and advocacy relating to women and girls, including those related to domestic violence.

Taylor Institute

773-342-5510

The Taylor Institute is a nonprofit policy research and advocacy center that seeks to improve the quality of life of low-income and other disadvantaged people and communities by changing relevant public policies. The institute conducts demonstrations, research, and evaluations and also provides training and technical assistance. Much of its work focuses on issues related to domestic violence among the welfare population.

Further information on issues related to domestic violence is available in the following

Documents

The Commonwealth Fund. "Violence Against Women in the United States: A Comprehensive Background Paper." New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund, Commission on Women's Health, Columbia University, 1996.

This paper reviews the literature on violence against women in the United States and offers recommendations for further research and analysis in six key areas: (1) patterns of violence, (2) gender and violence, (3) the consequences of violence against women, (4) medical and mental health care for victims, (5) help-seeking and social support, and (6) violence prevention.

Davies, J. "The New Welfare Law: State Implementation and Use of the Family Violence Option." Welfare and Domestic Violence Series, Paper #2, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, January 1997.

This paper provides detailed information on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) and the issues related to its implementation, particularly the use of the Wellstone-Murray Family Violence Amendment. Other papers in this series address issues related to implications for battered women under welfare reform, state implementation and use of the Family Violence Amendment, and child support enforcement.

Laurence, F., and Spalter-Roth, R. "Measuring the Cost of Domestic Violence Against Women and the Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions: An Initial Assessment and Proposals for Future Research." Washington, DC: Institute for Women's Policy Research, 1996.

This paper reviews the literature on the costs associated with domestic violence, develops an economic model for measuring both direct and indirect costs of domestic violence, outlines a plan for assessing the cost-effectiveness of domestic violence interventions, identifies gaps in the research literature on domestic violence costs, and provides an extensive list of information sources.

Raphael, J., and R. Tolman. "Trapped by Poverty, Trapped by Abuse: New Evidence Documenting the Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Welfare." Taylor Institute and University of Michigan Research Development Center on Poverty, Risk and Mental Health, April 1997.

This report provides a comprehensive summary analysis of ten recent research studies that examine both the extent of domestic violence among female welfare recipients and the effect of domestic violence on women's receipt of welfare, employability, and other outcomes. The report discusses policy implications and makes recommendations for serving welfare recipients who are victims of domestic violence.

Raphael, J. (editor). "Understanding Women's Poverty: A Symposium on the Relationship of Domestic Violence and Welfare Receipt." Law and Policy, vol. 19, no. 2, April 1997.

This edition of the Law and Policy journal is exclusively devoted to an examination of issues related to domestic violence, welfare, and the transition from welfare to work. Topics include the relationship between domestic violence and welfare, the effects of domestic violence on employment, and implications of welfare policy to domestic violence victims and the agencies that serve them.

1. This single national estimate of current domestic violence victims is based on a measure of those welfare recipients who were "physically victimized or threatened by their current partner sometime during the past five years." However, it is important to note that, given definitional restrictions, this national estimate of current domestic violence may be biased in two ways. First, it may underreport the total number of current victims, since the definition excludes those who may have been victimized by someone other than their current partner. Second, when compared with other studies, it may overreport the total number of current victims, since it defines "current" as a period of five years while many state and local studies have defined current as a period of one or two years.

2. As part of the recent federal welfare reform legislation, the Family Violence Amendment gives states the option to grant a good cause waiver to clients identified as victims of domestic violence, which involves suspending the welfare time limit temporarily and waiving certain requirements for these clients, including child support cooperation requirements. More than 30 states have adopted the amendment, and others have adopted some of its provisions.

3. For an explanation of how programs were selected, please refer to the discussion included in the Introduction under the paragraph heading "Program Models."

4. Though this program is not coordinated with the respective county welfare agencies, it is included as an example of what a coordinated effort that involves numerous service providers can look like.