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Domestic Violence Matters: An Evaluation of a Development Project

NCJ Number
Liz Kelly
Date Published
4 pages
This report presents the findings from a 3-year evaluation of Domestic Violence Matters (DVM), a project designed to provide a civilian crisis intervention service to follow up police responses, to enhance law enforcement responses, and to create consistent and coordinated responses among local agencies in the United Kingdom.
The project began in February 1993. It was jointly sponsored by the Metropolitan Police and the Islington Safer Cities Project, was conducted in Islington, and was funded by the Great Britain Home Office Program Development Unit. DVM provided crisis intervention follow-up 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, and worked with 1,236 victims of domestic violence in Islington over 32 months. Two-thirds of the referrals took place outside normal office hours. An immediate response was considered crucial by the majority of those using the service. In addition, the project was successful in reducing repeat calls to the police. More than two-thirds of the victims who contacted DVM had never used a formal agency other than the police. The project was successful in making effective referrals and in using a case advocacy approach to produce change. The women valued DVM's proactive response and the accompanying clear message that domestic violence was unacceptable. The project was less successful in enhancing law enforcement, but it also highlighted the local and national institutional barriers to responding to domestic violence as a crime. Lack of policy coherence and ineffective implementation were two barriers. Findings indicated that DVM's model of crisis intervention has much to offer both individuals and interagency collaborations in that it provides a one-stop location for information, advice, and coordinated and proactive responses. However, barriers still exist to implementing the principle that domestic violence is a crime. Tables, methodological note, and 4 references