Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Service and Resource Coordination


While the Consortium laid the foundation for its members to develop funding priorities for the city money and marriage license fees, the effects of this arrangement extend beyond these funding sources. In one instance, California recently appropriated state money for domestic violence, but specified that the funds must be used by shelters. Since the Consortium had already created a structure for member agencies to address funding issues, the shelters partnered with other Consortium agencies to give these agencies access to the funding as well. For example, one shelter subcontracted part of its state grant to a legal services agency to provide legal assistance to the shelter's clients.

The San Francisco community provides other examples of ways to share resources and consolidate services. At one time, all 3 shelters in the community operated separate 24 hour crisis hotlines. To minimize duplication of this service, the shelters contracted with another organization to operate a single hotline during the night and weekends with the shelters sharing the cost of this service. In another example, three legal services agencies established and co- manage the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic to help battered women obtain restraining orders and other legal assistance.

Given the diversity of San Francisco's population, agencies have worked together to improve services for specific groups. Within the Asian community, over 40 different languages are spoken. The Asian Women's Shelter has a multi-lingual capability and acts as a resource for other community agencies. When a woman speaking an Asian language calls one of the city's domestic violence hotlines, the call is transferred to Asian Women's Shelter staff who determine the language being spoken and locate an interpreter to work with the woman.

A recent venture between the FUND and the Mission Police Station targets the Hispanic community, which often underreports domestic violence due to cultural factors and language barriers. The FUND's Community Access and Advocacy Unit is collocated with the Mission Police Station in a predominantly Hispanic community. The program's three bilingual Spanish- speaking staff review police reports on domestic violence incidents and follow-up with the victim to encourage her to come in for assistance. The program offers crisis intervention and counseling services to these women as well as to women who have not filed police reports but who come into the station seeking help.