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Meeting Survivors' Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experiences, Summary of Findings

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2008
4 pages
This report summarizes findings from a multi-State study of survivors’ experiences in domestic-violence shelters.
The findings show that domestic-violence shelters serve a critical need for people who have experienced abuse from intimate partners. Shelters provide a wide variety of educational, emotional, psychological, attitudinal, and practical benefits to domestic-violence victims. For all identified needs, 75 percent of survivors got at least some of the help they wanted. Nearly all survivors reported they got the help they wanted for their personal safety and safety planning for the future. Conflicts with other residents were the most common conflict experienced in the shelters. Shelter programs can improve their strategies for addressing survivors’ emotional and mental health needs, physical health issues, housing, educational, and economic issues, as well as substance abuse. These were the most prominent needs that shelter residents reported were not being fully met. The study identified some differences in needs based on the race/ethnicity of survivors. These include lack of respect for cultural customs. Efforts to expand staff diversity and to create working environments supportive to all staff should continue. Data were collected from October 2007 to March 2008, using surveys completed by 3,410 residents of 215 domestic-violence shelters representing 81 percent of the shelters in 8 States. 1 figure

Date Published: February 1, 2008