Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Chapter 2. Study Design


The purpose of this study is to understand the approaches taken to coordinating responses to domestic violence in different communities, and how each community's system developed in response to client need, and in the context of other policy influences. Specifically, the study was designed to examine the following issues:

  • How model systems of comprehensive and coordinated community-based domestic violence service delivery have developed in different communities;
  • The legal, policy and community contexts in which the systems operate;
  • The goals of the coordination efforts and approaches used to meet the goals;
  • Barriers to coordination and how they have been addressed;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the coordination effort;
  • The role of laws and policies in helping or hindering coordination efforts; and
  • Issues in planning, implementing and evaluating coordinated services.

To address these issues, the study used a formative evaluation approach involving case studies of model community systems. The study was not intended to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive service delivery systems, although it offers some preliminary ideas about issues for future evaluation efforts. Six sites were selected for in-depth study: Baltimore, Maryland; Kansas City, Missouri; Carlton County and Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota; San Diego and San Francisco, California. This remainder of this chapter discusses the process used to select these sites and the procedures used to conduct the site visits.