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Duluth Safety and Accountability Audit: A Guide to Assessing Institutional Responses to Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
E Pence; K Lizdas
J Grover
Date Published
188 pages
This manual outlines a method for increasing an agency's or group of agencies' effectiveness in protecting victims of domestic violence.
Called the Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit (DVSAA), it systematically assesses how well an agency's collective procedures provide safety to victims of domestic violence and how well it demands accountability from offenders. The DVSAA is based on the identification of factors in the work cultures of most agencies that affect their ability to deliver safety and accountability. One factor is insufficient standardization of processes that contribute to intervention goals; another factor is the lack of adequate resources for agency staff; and a third factor is the failure of agencies to encourage holistic thinking. The DVSAA is designed to help an agency look anew at its own procedures. Using the questions provided in this manual, an agency can assess the effectiveness of its procedures (e.g., dispatching, police response, investigation, booking, warrant service, etc.) for providing safety and accountability. The DVSAA focuses on six aspects of how institutions organize a practitioner's response to a case: technology and resources; rules and regulations; administrative procedures; linkages and communication; education and training; and the social status of victims, offenders, and practitioners. Each of these categories is discussed in detail in the manual. Appended discussion of the development of policies and protocols, overheads, and handouts and a 4-item bibliography of Dorothy E. Smith's publications, on whose concepts the DVSAA is based