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Evaluation of Victim Advocacy Services Funded by the Violence Against Women Act in Urban Ohio, 1999

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2000
56 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of evaluation research on direct service programs in Ohio, particularly advocacy services for female victims of violence that have been funded with STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) formula grants under the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994.
The objectives of this evaluation project were to describe and compare existing advocacy services in Ohio, to compare victim advocacy typologies and identify key variables in the delivery of services, to develop a better understanding of how victim advocacy services are defined and delivered, and to assess the effectiveness of those services. The two components of the evaluation were a study of victim service agencies (Part 1) and a survey of police officers (Part 2), some of whom participated in a new victim services program and others who did not. The descriptions of victim advocacy services focused on the types of agencies providing services, how those programs defined advocacy, how those definitions were reflected in the services being delivered, and what outcomes the funded agencies hoped to achieve. The program evaluation aimed to determine the effectiveness of the police officers' training and the effects of their improved access to information on the outcome of domestic violence cases in which they were involved. Variables in Part 1 included number of staff, budget, funding sources, number and type of victims serviced, target population, number of non-English-speaking victims served, number of juveniles and adults served, number of victims with special needs served, collaboration with other organizations, benefits of VAWA funding, and direct and referral services provided by the agency. Variables in Part 2 addressed police officers' views on whether it was important to prosecute domestic violence cases, whether these cases were likely to result in a conviction, whether they felt sympathetic toward the victim or blamed the victim, how the prosecution should proceed, how the prosecution and police worked together on such cases, whether domestic violence was a private matter, and how they felt about the new program implemented under VAWA. The codebook for Part 1 and Part 2 is provided, along with data-collection instruments and original documentation supplied by the principal investigators.

Date Published: September 1, 2000