This article discusses problems encountered by women who do not fit the ideal types of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault when they seek services.
Women who experience problems may be prostitutes; have substance abuse, mental health, or learning disabilities; or be incarcerated. Interviews with service providers at 20 programs in the United States found few services specifically designed for these women and many staff members who did not understand the women's unique needs or the relationship between their abuse and other problems in their lives. In the absence of such services, batterers often seize the opportunity to further abuse and control them. The article outlines ways to improve program responses to victimized women with multiple service needs. Strategies to meet the needs of women experiencing multiple barriers include Direct Service Project Activities, Outreach, Training, and Collaboration With Other Community Agencies. The article concludes that collaboration with other agencies focusing specifically on these additional barriers is key to the successful implementation of integrated strategies. In other words, victim service programs cannot do it alone. References