Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. San Francisco, California


San Francisco is a densely populated city of 730,000 with a very culturally and ethnically diverse population. Of San Francisco's total population, about half are white, 30 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, and roughly 11 percent are African American. Nearly 14 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. About one third of the population is foreign born, and a substantial share of residents (more than 40 percent over the age of five) speak a language other than English at home. San Francisco also has many gay and lesbian residents, who have a strong community presence. The community is relatively more affluent and well-educated than average; its median household income of $33,414 was higher than the U.S. average of $30,056 and more than one-third of San Francisco's residents have attained at least a bachelor's degree compared to only 20 percent of the U.S. population as a whole. These characteristics have both enabled and challenged San Francisco to develop a response to domestic violence that is sensitive and appropriate to the service needs of various groups.