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Effects on Victims of Victim Service Programs Funded by the STOP Formula Grants Program

NCJ Number
Janine M. Zweig; Martha R. Burt; Asheley Van Ness
Date Published
February 2003
257 pages
This study evaluated whether the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program (STOP) for direct victim services is effectively helping victims of domestic violence remain safe and work successfully with the legal system.
Although victim services have been gaining legitimacy over the past few years, little is known about how direct victim services impact outcomes for women, both personally and within the legal system. As such, this evaluation focused on outcomes for female victims of domestic violence resulting from direct victim services offered through private nonprofit victim service agencies. After a section highlighting the main findings of the evaluation, chapter 1 presents an introduction and a conceptual framework for the evaluation. Chapter 2 discusses the study methodology and the study sample. Eight States were selected for inclusion in the evaluation study. Telephone interviews were employed to learn about the nonprofit victim service agencies utilizing STOP funding, their services, and their community collaborations. Next, between June 2001 and February 2002, telephone interviews were conducted with 1,509 women who had used STOP-funded victim services in 26 communities across the 8 States. Interviews focused on victimization experiences, victim outcomes, services use patterns, and knowledge and perceptions of victim services. Chapter 3 focuses on patterns of domestic violence and sexual assault experienced by the women seeking victim services. Chapters 4 and 5 offer an analysis of knowledge of victim services within the community. It was hypothesized that victim service agencies with more community collaborations would translate into more victim knowledge concerning available services; this hypothesis was not supported by the data. Chapter 6 discusses victims’ use of services, including victim perceptions of services and agencies. Chapter 7 presents findings regarding predictions of women’s service use patterns. Findings indicate that women in communities with a high degree of interagency collaboration were slightly more likely to use a combination of services for domestic violence. Chapter 8 presents findings regarding the prediction of victim outcomes. Findings reveal that outcomes for victims improve when private, nonprofit victim service agencies work in collaboration with the legal system and other relevant community agencies. Finally, chapter 9 offers general evaluation conclusions and implications for policy, practice, and research. Tables, figures, references, appendix