Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Site Visit Procedures


Information on the coordinated response was collected during in-depth site visits to each community. In each site, we conducted semi-structured interviews with key staff in relevant agencies and programs. An initial list of respondents was developed through discussions with the key contact person in each site. As we contacted each person, we asked them to identify additional people who were involved in the community's efforts. In each community, we interviewed people from the following agencies, programs and organizations:

  • Members of Domestic Violence Coordinating Council(s)
  • Battered Women's Services - Shelters, Counseling, Advocacy, Legal Services
  • Batterer Intervention Programs
  • Child Welfare Agencies
  • Criminal Justice Agencies -Police, Prosecutors (Felony and Misdemeanor)
  • Courts - Criminal Courts (Superior/District/Municipal), Civil Courts
  • Health Care - Hospitals, Community Health Centers, Healthy Start Programs
  • Other Services - Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Agencies

We tried to identify links with programs that provide public assistance, housing assistance, employment and training services, and child support enforcement services. In a couple of cases, individual service providers had worked with these agencies on occasion. However, we did not find any well-developed links or routine coordination with these agencies in any of the communities that we visited.

In most cases, we interviewed the person at each agency or organization who was most directly involved in the coordination efforts. In cases where more than one person from the agency was actively involved, we tried to interview staff at different levels who were involved either individually or in groups. However, given the time constraints, it was not always possible to interview both senior management and front-line staff from every program and agency.

We also made an effort to schedule site visits to overlap with a meeting of the site's coordinating committee or other key events when possible. In two sites (Baltimore and Kansas City) we attended and observed a coordinating committee meeting during the site visit. In San Diego, we attended a full-day summit on violence against women that was also attended by many of the coordinating council members. We also observed the docket for protection order hearings in Kansas City and accompanied a child protection worker on home visits in San Diego. These activities provided useful information about each community's coordination efforts.