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District of Columbia

State Overview - State Summary - State Projects
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State Overview

Domestic Violence Legislation:Yes (16-1051)
NIBRS Status:Developing
Additional IBR Elements:Yes
Law Enforcement DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider SA System:Incident-based

State Summary

The District of Columbia has legislation in place that defines domestic violence, including same-sex romantic relationships. The DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) collects incident-based data but does not report NIBRS data to the FBI. The DC Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD), on the other hand, is NIBRS certified and provides incident-level information. The MTPD does collect data elements in addition to what is required by NIBRS.

The MPD reports incidents that have been identified as domestic violence cases. When an incident is flagged as domestic, a supplemental report is completed, which includes various information about the offense, victim, and suspect. Only sexual assault and stalking arrests are tracked in the arrests database, however. A specialized unit of MPD, the Domestic Violence Unit, summarizes the number of domestic violence cases and provides the information in an annual fact sheet. Similarly, the Sexual Assault Unit compiles forcible rape statistics using the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) system. This unit also submits a daily morning report on sexual assault incidents to each district and an annual report to the Mayor.

The Domestic Violence Unit of the District of Columbia Superior Court manages all domestic violence cases that come through the criminal justice system. The unit submits monthly and annual reports to the Executive Office, which publishes the information in its annual report. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice's Office of Victim Services administers state funds to crime victim service providers. In return, those agencies provide OVS with counts of the number of clients seen on a monthly basis. These data are not currently provided to the public.

The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects incident-based data that are reported to the Office of Victim's Services. The DC Rape Crisis Center also collects incident-level data on hotline calls and shelter visits. Currently, this information is only for internal use.

State Projects

  • Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health and Safety (PASS)
    The Urban Institute, together with the University of California (San Diego) School of Medicine, plans to develop, implement and evaluate programs to alter neighborhood factors that create coercive sexual environments in order to reduce the high rates of sexual assault, STI/HIV and teen pregnancy among girls 9-18 years old living in public housing in Benning Terrace (a public housing community located in Ward 7 of the District).

  • Court Advocacy Program (CAP)
    The Court Advocacy Program (CAP), managed by Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment is located in the Domestic Violence Intake Center at DC Superior Court and the DVIC Southeast Satellite (DVICSE) at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. CAP staff provide court-based advocacy services to between 20 and 30 victims every business day-- over 4,000 clients each year.

  • On-Call Advocacy Program (OCAP)
    The Court Advocacy Program (CAP), managed by Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment created the On-Call Advocacy Program (OCAP) to provide on-call staff and volunteer advocates for domestic violence victims who contact the Metropolitan Police Department between 6:00PM and 6:00AM, and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays, when DC Superior Court services are unavailable. OCAP advocates are available to meet with a victim at a safe location, or speak with them on the phone.

  • Court Watch
    Court Watch is a volunteer-staffed project managed by Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment in which trained observers record information about Civil Protection Order hearings. The data gathered by Court Watch volunteers are published in semi-annual reports. The Court Watch project provides advocates with information about how the court deals with domestic violence, and provides feedback to the Court regarding its treatment of domestic violence survivors. The goals of this project are to improve the court experience for those seeking relief, and to give survivors a larger voice in the court system.

  • Lethality Assessment Project
    SAFE gives top priority to victims who are at high risk for serious assault or homicide at the hands of their abusers. Every domestic violence case is different, but research conducted by Dr. Jacqueline Campbell at Johns Hopkins University indicates that some situations are more dangerous than others based on identifiable factors. SAFE conducts a risk assessment based on this research with every client that they work with, and specialized services are available for those who are identified as being at high risk for serious injury or homicide. In addition to this basic screening, the Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with SAFE through OCAP to provide a special protocol for domestic violence calls in parts of the city where call volume is highest in an effort to provide help where it is most needed. In four Public Safety Areas in the District, officers call OCAP to make a referral from each and every domestic violence call they go to between intimate partners. If the victim shows indicators of being at high risk for future harm, they receive a wider array of services more quickly through the assistance and coordination of the Office of Victim Services and the Executive Office of the Mayor.

  • Survivors with Disabilities (PEER)
    Managed by the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Project PEER is a collaboration of eight community-based organizations in the District of Columbia dedicated to becoming a system of responsive, supportive services which survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community who have mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities need and deserve.

  • Prevention (DELTA PREP)
    DCCADV is proud to be a part of DELTA PREP (Preparing and Raising Expectation for Prevention) working to lead the coalition's members and District leaders and allies in incorporating primary prevention in efforts to eliminate intimate partner violence (IPV). This District-wide initiative is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advance a national intimate partner violence primary prevention movement. In 2009, the project funded 19 state level domestic violence coalitions for three years to focus on strategies to prevent first-time perpetration and first-time victimization of IPV.

  • DC SANE Program
    The District of Columbia has developed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program to provide comprehensive care to adult victims of rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes. The DC SANE program is a partnership between the Executive Office of Mayor, Office of Victim Services and Washington Hospital Center where medical forensic exams are conducted. The program is staffed 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week by nurses with specialized training in medical forensic evidence collection. Exams are available to victims within 96 hours of an incident.

Available Reports

General Crime

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Sample Data Collection Forms

The Metro Transit Police Department uses this form to collect information about reported offenses:

This is the sexual assault report presented daily to the Metropolitan Police Department's Chief, Assistant Chiefs, and Office of the Superintendent of Detectives Commanding Officer:

These are the hotline and intake forms used by the DC Rape Crisis Center:

This is the data entry screen used by the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Superior Court collects information from victims applying for compensation using this form:

Available Data

General Crime Statistics

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Links to State Agencies and Resources