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


A great deal of coordination takes place in San Francisco through the work of the various committees. As previously noted, the community has a long tradition of collaboration and forming coordinating groups to address particular domestic violence issues. The Domestic Violence and Justice Committee is one example of a group formed to address a specific problem. In California, police officers can contact a judge 24 hours a day to issue an immediate emergency protection order (EPO) at the scene of a domestic violence incident. However, in 1993 only about 3 EPOs were issued each month. To increase the use of EPOs, the FUND, together with the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation (SNLAF), initiated the Domestic Violence and Justice Committee with representatives from law enforcement agencies, the courts and Consortium members. The committee worked with police and the Courts on this issue, and by 1996 the number of EPOs issued had risen to over 100 per month. The Committee has subsequently shifted its focus to address issues around California's new stalking law.

The Domestic Violence Consortium was created with a broader objective to coordinate services and avoid unnecessary duplication. The Consortium currently has 15 members that include the key providers of shelter, legal assistance, transitional housing and crisis and counseling services to battered women and men, and 2 associate members who work with batterers. The Consortium's membership criteria require that an agency be a nonprofit organization operating in San Francisco for at least two years, and that the agency, or at least part of the agency's programs, must have a primary focus on serving battered adults and their children. The agency also must support the missions and values of the Consortium and have a philosophy that approaches domestic violence as a societal problem rather than an individual problem. While these criteria include most agencies who provide services specifically for domestic violence, other community agencies, like community centers, who serve battered women and men but whose primary focus is not domestic violence are excluded by these criteria.