Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Chapter 6. Opportunities and Future Directions


The communities we visited for this study are all engaged in an on-going process of network development and expansion. All have been "in process" for many years, although largely within the justice system. Many of the system improvements in these communities have enough of a track record for community members to be able to feel that they have accomplished the goals that were set for particular system changes (although incremental improvements are always possible). This is most likely to be the case with respect to changes in the criminal and civil justice systems. However, some of the more recent efforts to expand the response to domestic violence beyond the traditional justice and victim service agencies are still in the formative stages. Some of them are so "formative" that one is more likely to hear a list of problems and issues than a list of accomplishments when one talks about them with local stakeholders. We found these lists of problems and issues very informative, because they point to the frontiers of network expansion and what will have to be done if those frontiers are to be conquered. In this chapter, we share insights about issues communities may confront in developing more comprehensive responses to domestic violence.