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Evaluation of Family Violence Training Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1995
2 pages
Publication Series
To learn about the implementation and effects of police family violence training programs, researchers from the Urban Institute reviewed project proposals and interviewed project staff; analyzed case studies based on visits to model projects and interviews with key officials in six States; and surveyed 547 family violence victims in New York and Texas.
The most significant results of the training programs, according to police officers interviewed at the model sites, were the development of high-quality educational materials and a pool of trained individuals who could train more line officers. Interviews also indicated that training was a significant impetus to policy development within many criminal justice agencies and that model policies provided in the training materials were often used to create new agency policy. Most agencies tested participants before and after their training and found that the training both increased knowledge and had a positive effect on attitudes toward victims of family violence. Many of those interviewed also stated that the training project improved cooperation between law enforcement and other community agencies. Results of the surveys of victims in Texas and New York indicated that police officers' emotional support was a key factor in a positive evaluation of police response. Victims who were satisfied (50 percent of those surveyed) reported that officers most often responded in pairs, insisted on seeing the victim when the abuser tried to prevent contact, did not use a mediation approach, and showed interest in the victim's story. This study suggests that future training projects would be enhanced by incorporating mechanisms to assess project impact from the beginning of the projects, including funding for maintaining records on policy changes.

Date Published: November 1, 1995