Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Community Characteristics

10/01/1996

The active nature of the San Francisco community was reported to be an important factor in the city's approach to coordination. San Francisco is characterized by a culture of cooperation which enables people to come together and accomplish things quickly. The city's style was summed up by one respondent: "Things in San Francisco have to be coalition based. It's really the nature of the city." The FUND reflects this orientation in its role as the leading domestic violence advocacy organization. In San Francisco, domestic violence advocates tend to work in conjunction with other agencies, rather than trying to influence the agencies by other means.

The sustained participation and leadership of a number of people also contributes to the successful cooperation between agencies. Many of the people interviewed for this study have been working on domestic violence in San Francisco for more than a decade. Thus, many of the people central to San Francisco's efforts have worked together on numerous committees and served on each other's boards. This continuity has formed well-established working relationships and built trust among the various parties. It has also created a network of people working on this issue that are readily known throughout the community. In addition, the long tenure of the leadership has enabled the community to institutionalize its approach to coordination.