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Current National Institute of Justice Grants

These are active NIJ grants related to domestic and sexual violence. To see reports from previous grants, please visit the Bibliography pages.

  • The Effectiveness of Coordinate Outreach in IPV Cases: A Randomized Longitudinal Design. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0002
    The current study tests the prediction that early coordinated victim outreach will improve criminal justice outcomes by increasing victim participation in official action. Further, outreach will increase victim safety and empowerment. In collaboration with research, criminal justice, and community-based partners, this project uses a randomized control design to evaluate an innovative outreach program for IPV victims whose cases have come to the attention of the criminal justice system. Participants, who are randomly assigned to receive outreach or treatment-as-usual, will be interviewed at three time points: baseline (case inception), 6- and 12-months. The study addresses three primary goals. First, the applicant will evaluate the effectiveness of a coordinated, community-based outreach program in improving criminal justice and victim safety and empowerment outcomes for IPV victims using a longitudinal, randomized control design. Second, they will identify victim and case characteristics that mediate and moderate program effects on victim support for official action. Finally, they will evaluate the influence of geospatial characteristics on outreach effectiveness. In addition to conventional statistical analyses, geospatial analyses will be used to assess the contribution of spatial variables (such as distance to and time/effort required to access services) to victims' participation in official action and service utilization.

  • A Statewide Study of Stalking and its Criminal Justice Response. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0003
    This study will explore the impact of identifying and charging for the crime of stalking in the state of Rhode Island on offender accountability as measured by successful prosecution as well as victim safety, as measured by re-arrest for domestic violence within two years. Researchers will use a multi-methods approach that includes secondary data analysis of a mandated law enforcement reporting system as well as court based data regarding prosecution and qualitative interviews with select Rhode Island law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and court advocates for a more complete understanding of the factors influencing the criminal justice response to stalking. The researcher plans to explore answers to the question, "Does identifying the crime of stalking have an effect on prosecution outcomes, as well as longer terms outcomes in regard to subsequent arrests for domestic violence?" A sample of 1,297 incident and arrest reports where citations have been made by police for threats and harassment between January 1,2001 and December 31, 2005 will be reviewed to extract those cases where stalking charges should have been brought against the suspects. These extracted cases will be compared with 140 cases during the same period where the suspects were actually cited for stalking. Comparisons will be made on a variety of characteristics, with the end result being the development of a more complete profile of stalkers. Qualitative interviews (group) with 30 key informants from smaller cities in Rhode Island will be conducted to assess factors that may influence the criminal justice response to stalking.

  • Using Technology to Combat Violence Against Women: The Case for Indian Country. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0010
    This study focuses on the intergovernmental sharing of information and the development of an Inter-Governmental Tracking System (IGTS) for tribal communities to assist in prevention of domestic violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. Crimes of domestic violence are clearly present on reservations, but no statistics detail the rates of declination of prosecution by U.S. Attorneys for such crimes. The proposed project will respond to this statistical vagueness and provide statistics detailing specific prosecution rates for crimes committed against Indian women. The study will also consider the information flows associated with domestic violence referrals and impediments to prosecuting non-Indian offenders in Indian Country cases.

  • Testing the Efficacy of Judicial Monitoring: A Randomized Trial at the Rochester Domestic Violence Courts. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0011
    While judicial monitoring has been shown to be effective with other criminal justice populations, few studies, and none involving a randomized control design, have been conducted with domestic violence offenders. This study will fill this gap through a randomized trial to determine the efficacy of a carefully designed, robust model of judicial monitoring. In addition to examining the impact of monitoring on official recidivism and victim reports of re-abuse, the impact on intervening offender perceptions regarding the swiftness, certainty, and severity of further sanctions in response to violations of the court's orders will also be examined.

  • Adolescent Sexual Assault Victims' Experiences with SANE-SARTs and the Criminal Justice System. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0012
    The study uses two approaches to answer three questions related to adolescents and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART). The first is a quantitative quasi-experimental design that examines eight years of reporting and prosecution data in two counties that differ in terms of how their SANE programs function within multidisciplinary SART teams. The second study involves qualitative interviews with adolescent victims who received SANE-SART services to learn how these experiences influenced their participation in prosecution. The questions the study seeks to answer: 1) Which cases make it through the system and why? 2) What role do SANE-SARTs play in encouraging victims to participate in prosecution? 3) What are teen victims' concerns about seeking formal help in the first place? This study will assist in filling a gap in the literature because while research has shown that SANE-SART programs can be helpful throughout reporting and prosecution, this topic has not been studied with adolescents.

  • Custody Evaluators' Beliefs About Domestic Abuse Allegations. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0013
    The goal of this research is to reduce violence against women and their children by improving the knowledge and ability of custody evaluators and other professionals who make recommendations to the court regarding child custody and visitation matters. The safety of women can be jeopardized when ongoing intimate partner violence is not adequately considered in the court arrangements regarding child custody and visitation. Ultimately this study aims to prevent violent crimes against women by eliminating particular vulnerable occasions and having decision makers focus on the safety needs of abused mothers at times of separation. The study will investigate the extent to which child custody evaluators and other professionals who make family court recommendations hold the belief that women commonly make false allegations of domestic violence in divorce proceedings. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. In a survey of beliefs, the primary respondents will be 445 custody evaluators. In addition, 70 family court judges and relevant court staff will participate in the survey. For comparison purposes, 70 domestic violence advocates will also be surveyed. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with 24 noncustodial domestic abuse survivors in four states. A review of their custody evaluation documents will be conducted. In addition, interviews will be conducted with the key decision-makers in their cases. The findings of the study will form the foundation for studies of training for decision makers and for policy development.

  • The Historically Black College and University Campus Sexual Assault Study. Grant 2007-WAG-BX-0021
    The purpose of this study is to work collaboratively with four historically black college and university (HBCU) campuses to generate much needed data on the prevalence, context, consequences, and reporting of sexual assault, as well as the criminal justice and service provider responses to sexual assault on HBCU campuses. This will be accomplished via a Web-based survey that will collect data from 4,000 undergraduate HBCU women at geographically diverse campuses, and a mail survey to obtain data from campus criminal justice personnel and service providers at the participating HBCU campuses. The investigators note that many HBCU's have limited resources and are sometimes unable to invest in institutional research that might inform and benefit their administrations and/or their students, indicating both the importance of the proposed study and how the information garnered from the study may add information that addresses the gap in the institutional knowledge in this area. Further, it is noted that although an extensive literature on sexual assault among college campuses exists, very few studies have attempted to explore racial and/or ethnic differences in victimization rates among students, and no previous research has explored sexual assault on HBCU campuses, even though HBCU campuses graduate nearly one-quarter of African American baccalaureates. This study will provide information to the research and practitioner communities that will address this gap in knowledge.

  • Domestic Violence Shelter Study. Grant 2007-IJ-CX-K022
    This study describes the experiences of a sample of 3,000 residents of domestic violence shelter programs in up to eight states. States will be selected to maximize the diversity of programs and survivors; they will include programs with a broad range of survivor racial/ethnic/cultural diversity, staff size, capacity, and specialization, as well as including all major national geographic regions and types of local economies. Shelter residents will be asked to complete two brief surveys - one at the time of admission and a different one as close as possible to shelter exit. The two surveys are based on instruments developed and previously piloted. They cover issues such as the survivors' shelter entry experiences, the types of help wanted, the degree to which they received the listed services, and nine short-term outcomes for themselves and three for their children. The second survey also contains items regarding respectful treatment by shelter staff and special areas of service, in addition to questions about shelter rules and other issues or concerns. Both surveys also include demographic information (race/ethnicity, age, number of children and number with her in shelter, sexual orientation, and completed education). Programs will also complete a brief survey that will include questions about the number of shelter staff, the services provided to residents, the shelter capacity, staff language capacity, the maximum length of stay, the population and demographic characteristics of the city/town in which the shelter is located, and any specialization the shelter may have. Analysis will focus on descriptions of survivors and their needs, their experiences in shelter (the extent to which they obtained the services they wanted, their perceptions of treatment and issues they encountered), and immediate outcomes. Analysis will also examine the ways in which survivors' demographic characteristics and local program and community variables may be related to service receipt, perceived treatment, and outcomes.

  • Intimate Partner Violence in Mandatory Divorce Mediation: Outcomes From a Long-Term, Multicultural Study. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0028
    While judicial monitoring has been shown to be effective with other criminal justice populations, few studies, and none involving a randomized control design, have been conducted with domestic violence offenders. This study will fill this gap through a randomized trial to determine the efficacy of a carefully designed, robust model of judicial monitoring. In addition to examining the impact of monitoring on official recidivism and victim reports of re-abuse, the impact on intervening offender perceptions regarding the swiftness, certainty, and severity of further sanctions in response to violations of the court's orders will also be examined.

  • Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Project. Grant 2007-WG-BX-0051
    This study will address significant gaps in the literature on sexual assault of Latina women, especially concerning polyvictimization, help-seeking efforts, and the influence of cultural factors on experience, impact, and responses to sexual victimization. The findings will also be pertinent to shaping practice and policy. Data will be collected via phone interviews with a targeted sample of approximately 2,000 Latina women living throughout the United States. Participants will be asked about lifetime victimization, help-seeking efforts, psychological distress, PTSD symptomology, religiosity, acculturation, gender-role ideology, and demographic information. Ultimately, a better, more culturally-based understanding of sexual victimization among Latina women will be gained.

  • A National Portrait of Domestic Violence Courts. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0001
    This study involves identification of criminal domestic violence courts throughout the country, site visits to 15 courts, and a national survey of domestic violence courts. The result will be a detailed national portrait of domestic violence court goals, policies, and practices. This portrait will be used by the project team of researchers and practitioners to identify best (and worst) practices and testable hypotheses for future domestic violence court research.

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies for Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women. Grant 2006-WT-BX-0001
    The study examines the effectiveness of sex offender registration and community notification policies in reducing sexual violence against women and girls. Because registration and notification policies were federally mandated and have been implemented across the country, they represent the most comprehensive attempts at the prevention and reduction of serious sexual violence. To date, the effects of broad registration and notification policies (e.g., policies that do not distinguish between different offender risk levels and that apply for life) have been almost entirely exempt from empirical review. The present study will evaluate broad sex offender registration and notification policies as applied in South Carolina to determine whether these policies have deterred new sexual offenses (Aim 1) or reduced sexual recidivism (Aim 2). Additionally, this study will examine whether an unintended effect has occurred: that is, whether the prosecution or conviction of individuals arrested for serious sexual offenses might have declined since policy implementation, perhaps due to perceived harshness of these polices (Aim 3). Because general crime rates have declined over the past decade, data on robbery and aggravated assault will also be examined in the context of some analyses to control for reductions in sex offenses that might be due to non-specific factors. Data from 1991 to 2003 to be analyzed include all South Carolina "registry" sexual offense charges and convictions; all robbery and aggravated assault charges and convictions (for comparison); and victim reports of sexual offenses (also for comparison purposes). Patterns of pre-policy (1991-1995) charges and convictions will be compared with post-registration policy data (1996-1999) and with post-Internet notification policy data (2000-2003). This study will represent the first empirical examination of broad registration and notification polices, such as were implemented by approximately half of all U.S. states. These policies have been in effect for over a decade, and examination of their effectiveness is overdue.

  • Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies in Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0002
    The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of sex offender registration and community notification policies in reducing sexual violence against women and girls. To date, effects of broad sex offender registration and notification policies have been almost entirely exempt from empirical review. The present study will evaluate sex offender registration and notification policies as applied in South Carolina to determine whether these policies have deterred new sexual offenses or reduced sexual recidivism. Additionally, this study will examine whether an unintended effect has occurred; that is, whether the prosecution or conviction of individuals arrested for serious sexual offenses might have declined since policy implementation, perhaps due to perceived harshness of these policies. Because general crime rates have declined over the past decade, data on robbery and aggravated assault will also be examined to control for reductions in sex offenses.

  • Intimate Partner Violence: Justice System Response and Public Health Service Utilization in a National Sample. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0003
    This study involves identification of criminal domestic violence courts throughout the country, site visits to 15 courts, and a national survey of domestic violence courts. The result will be a detailed national portrait of domestic violence court goals, policies, and practices. This portrait will be used by the project team of researchers and practitioners to identify best (and worst) practices and testable hypotheses for future domestic violence court research.

  • The Crime Control Effects of Prosecuting Intimate Partner Violence. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0004
    This study seeks to assess the extent to which the prosecution, conviction, and enhanced sentences of offenders reduce repeat intimate partner violence. Another focus is to determine whether the effectiveness of criminal justice interventions is conditioned upon an offender's stakes in conformity (e.g., employment, marriage). This research will improve our understanding of the results of prior research, provide a more solid basis for current public policy, and help identify issues that ought to be addressed in future research on the criminal justice response to intimate partner violence.

  • Multiple Perspectives on Battered Women and their Children Fleeing to the U.S. for Safety: A Study of the Hague Convention. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0006
    This study improves the understanding of battered mothers involved in Hague Convention cases in the U.S. and uses this understanding to improve the legal system response to battered mothers and their children who, fleeing violent partners by crossing international borders, are subsequently charged under the Hague Convention. This study specifically addresses NIJ priorities for research to improve legal responses to intimate partner violence, particularly within diverse communities.

  • Process Evaluation of OJJDP's CSEC Program in Atlanta. Grant 2006-JE-FX-0006
    The grantee is conducting a formative evaluation of OJJDP's Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Demonstration Project in Fulton County/Atlanta. The applicant plans to use an empowerment evaluation strategy to achieve four objectives. First, this project will gather data (using interviews, field observation, and focus groups with CSEC victims and members of the Collaborative) on the nature and extent of CSEC, in order to better assess the needs of CSEC victims, as well as the operational capacity and needs of the Collaborative. Second, this project will review, refine, and update the Collaborative's original goals and objectives, and using a logic model, will identify measurable outcomes to evaluate ongoing progress. Third, this evaluation will review the Collaborative's current data management system to assess its provision of performance measures and identify mechanisms to improve the quality of data collection to enhance sharing of information across agencies. As well, on-going technical assistance will be provided to enhance data collection to ensure that it informs the Collaborative of its progress. Finally, this project will coordinate with the evaluation of New York's demonstration project to identify model strategies and practices to address the problem of CSEC and to disseminate information for use by practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the public.

  • Victim Participation in Intimate Partner Violence Prosecution: Implications for Safety. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0007
    This project will examine the impact of victim participation on risk of revictimization, measured both within the civil and criminal justice systems (subsequent intimate partner violence (IPV)-related 911 calls, arrests, petitions for civil protection orders) and within the health care system (use of emergency doctor services). Kalamazoo County, Michigan, is the site in which these justice and health data will be merged for 1,094 IPV assault cases from the year 2000. Qualitative data will be used to both inform and interpret the quantitative data. After the conclusion of the quantitative data analysis, another series of focus groups will be assembled to help understand the context of the findings and to explore the mechanisms by which victim experiences, empowerment, and safety, and experiences within the justice process influence the decision to participate in prosecution. The study will provide the data necessary to begin to inform the development of interventions that can help empower female IPV victims to make efficient and effective use of the criminal justice system in ways that maximize their health and safety and to inform policy and practice in the implementation of victim advocacy within the criminal justice system.

  • Model of Domestic Abuse Against Older Women and Barriers to Seeking Help. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0008
    The study focuses on how older women representing Hispanic, African-American non-Hispanic, and white non-Hispanic race/ethnicities in the community experience and internalize domestic abuse, and tests a Barriers to Help-Seeking (BHS) model based on results of an earlier study and two existing models, the Theoretical Model of Elder Mistreatment (National Research Council, 2003) and the Grigsby & Hartman Model (1997). Face-to-face interviews will be used to describe the relationship between an abuser's behaviors and an elder victim's perceptions of barriers to help-seeking and the relationships between barriers to help-seeking and abusive behaviors.

  • Polyvictimization History Among Girls Adjudicated Delinquent. Grant 2006-WG-BX-0011
    Girls in the justice system experience disproportionately high rates of violence such as child maltreatment, rape, and dating violence prior to their delinquent or criminal offending. Community- and systems-based interventions are often ill-equipped to address such complex constellations of abuse. There is a lack of research on how polyvictimization contributes to girls' crime, adjustment in communities before and after interventions, and risk for transition from minor offenses to more serious or chronic offending. This study aims to address this problem by examining the range, diversity, and co-occurrence of different types of violence over the course of girls' lives; risk and protective factors that may impact violence; and the relationship among different patterns of victimization, service use, offense severity, and offense patterns.

  • The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in NYC: A Population Assessment and Participatory Project Evaluation. Grant 2005-LX-FX-0001
    The Center for Court Innovation and John Jay College of Criminal Justice will conduct a population assessment and formative evaluation to provide information and a model to respond effectively to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). The goals of the research are to: (1) develop a better understanding of the CSEC population, (2) assist the Coalition to Address the Sexual Exploitation of Children (CASEC) in assessing, monitoring, and improving capacity and performance, and (3) institutionalizing and disseminating lessons and best practices. The applicant will conduct a multi-method study that will estimate the size, characteristics and needs of the CSEC population through the use of respondent-driven sampling, Geographical Information System Technology, and direct observation in the field. Two hundred youth who engage in child prostitution will be recruited and interviewed over a 9-month period. The applicant will use action-research methods to conduct a formative evaluation of the New York City CSEC demonstration program. Action-research methods will be used to engage the CASEC collaboration partners in establishing criteria and systems for ongoing self-evaluation and improvement. The applicant will work closely with the CASEC to document the program's implementation and operational processes, and to identify, define, disseminate, and institutionalize best practices. This will include review of program documentation; interviews with staff, partners, and the CASEC residential clients; assessment of data and information-sharing needs; identification of performance measures; and establishment of mechanisms for feedback on performance to the program.

  • A Systems Change Analysis of SANE Programs. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0003
    The project adds to the current literature by determining the circumstances and contexts under which SANE programs increase prosecution by identifying the mediating mechanisms that explain how and why SANE programs affect case outcomes. Using a systems change theoretical perspective, the proposed project has the following five objectives. It will: 1) compare prosecution charging rates and court outcomes for cases examined in a SANE program (intervention group) to a sample of adult sexual assault cases examined using standard hospital protocols in the same community prior to the implementation of the SANE program (comparison group); 2) identify victim, case, and forensic medical evidence characteristics that predict prosecutors' charging decisions; 3) examine SANEs impact on police as a mediating pathway to increased prosecution rates; 4) explore how the emotional support provided to victims/survivors by the SANE program and victim advocates increased their participation during investigation and prosecution; and 5) create a practitioner-oriented program evaluation toolkit that can be used by other communities to assess post-SANE systems change. A series of studies are planned to address these objectives, which will include rigorous quantitative quasi-experimental designs and in-depth qualitative interviews with prosecutors, police, and victims/survivors. This study will examine the interrelationships between SANEs, legal professionals, victim advocates, and victims/survivors as these linkages may be critical in explaining how and why SANE programs increase prosecution rates.

  • Evaluation of California's Batterer Intervention Systems. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0004
    This project is evaluating batterer intervention systems with an eye toward teasing out the contributions of different parts of the system. The project will take advantage of the size of California's population currently in the criminal justice system and the length of its statutorily mandated batterer intervention programs. California's 52-week programs are among the longest in the country. The common statutory framework in California combined with the variation in the operation of courts and batterer treatment programs within that framework provides an ideal environment for conducting a quasi-experimental study, making it easier to distinguish the effects of specific components of batterer intervention systems. Various qualitative and quantitative measures will be used to examine the characteristics of different components of the systems and their interactions. A multi-method research design will begin by creating typologies of the batterer intervention system in six different jurisdictions in the state and the batterer intervention programs within these systems. Measures of program fidelity will be constructed so that outcomes may be evaluated relative to differences in program design and implementation. Program completion, a key element of compliance with the terms of probation, and reduced recidivism, specifically reduced recidivism for domestic violence offenses, will be the key indicators of effectiveness and will be measured by tracking records from law enforcement, the courts, and batterer intervention programs. An estimated sample size of approximately 2,000 will be selected from batterers enrolled in intervention programs in six project sites. The goal of this research is to assist in building a national consensus on the components of these systems that are most effective.

  • Coordinating the Criminal Justice Response to Intimate Partner Violence: The Effectiveness of Councils in Producing Systems Change. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0005
    Communities across the United States are focusing on creating a coordinated community response (CCR) to intimate partner violence (IPV). Beginning in 1990, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts created a network of Family Violence Coordinating Councils (FVCCs) across 22 Judicial Circuits. Although FVCCs are the primary vehicles for the creation of CCRs nationwide, there is limited empirical evidence regarding whether they facilitate desired systems change in the criminal and civil justice response to IPV (CCJ). The proposed study will examine Illinois FVCCs and their statewide structure by investigating: a) the extent to which FVCCs have an impact on proximal goals and distal goals; and b) those factors and processes that facilitate FVCC success. The proposed study will employ a multi-method approach including key informant interviews with FVCC coordinators, survey research with FVCC members, archival analysis of CCJ statistics and FVCC documents and ethnographic methods. Study participants, recruited with the aid of FVCC coordinators, will include multiple stakeholders (N=~2000): IPV survivors; advocates; law enforcement and probation officers; prosecutors; court personnel; judges; human service providers; child protection workers; school personnel; faith-based leaders; and/or concerned citizens. Statewide data will be accessed from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) from 1996 to present regarding various CCJ and service utilization statistics (e.g., arrest rates, order of protection rates, referral rates to shelter programs). To examine research questions, quantitative (e.g., multilevel modeling, social network analysis) and qualitative methods will be employed. The proposed study has important implications for examining the FVCCs in their promotion of a CCR, an area of inquiry that has received little consideration but requires urgent attention given the widespread implementation of FVCC to produce systems change.

  • Stalking Victim's Journey: Offender Patterns, Victim Help-Seeking and the Criminal Justice Response. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0007
    This study will examine how interactions among victim assistance, the criminal justice system, victims, and stalkers influence the short and long term persistence, escalation, and desistance of stalking among crime victims in New York City. Further, this study will examine differential patterns of help-seeking, criminal justice, and social services responses across cultural groups. The prospective design will include in-depth structured interviews to be conducted with a sample of 200 women who may not have labeled their current or ex-intimate partner's behavior as stalking. The interview instrument will capture data in seven domains: 1) demographic information/individual history on the victim and stalker; 2) prior relationship; 3) stalking behaviors; 4) physical violence; 5) victim's knowledge of stalker and stalker's knowledge of victim; 6) victim's assessment of stalker's motivation and risk; and 7) help-seeking and interventions. Multivariate analyses will be used to examine relationships among the categorical variables, identify predictors of escalation, and measure the correlates of criminal justice and social services interventions. A further goal of this study is to test and refine existing stalker typologies.

  • A Rural and Urban Multiple Perspective Study of Protective Order Violation Consequences, Responses, and Costs. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0008
    This study addresses two critical gaps in the research literature on civil protective orders by identifying the factors associated with effectiveness of protective order enforcement, and by assessing justice system costs associated with partner violence, protective orders, and differential responses to protective order violations. This study will triangulate the sources of information (using victim self-reports, key informant interviews, and court data on offenders) in order to address the major questions for this study. Specifically, this study aims to: 1) follow 105 rural and 105 urban women at baseline, 3 months and 6 months after receiving a protective order to examine partner violence 6 months prior to obtaining a protective order as well as violations, consequences of violations, justice system responses, and outcomes of justice system responses 6 months after obtaining a protective order; 2) describe the civil and criminal system histories and responses to protective order violations using official records on protective order respondents in the cases corresponding to the rural (n=105) and urban (n=105) women who participate in the study; 3) examine key informant (n=140) perceptions of decision factors associated with responses to protective order violations from four main perspectives: individual victim, police, prosecution, and judges, using bounded rational theory to guide interviews; 4) identify the primary case, incident, and community characteristics influencing civil and criminal justice system responses to protective order violations in two rural jurisdictions and one urban jurisdiction; and 5) examine personal and social costs of ongoing partner violence, including justice system costs, 6 months before and 6 months after a protective order is obtained for 210 rural and urban women to better understand the full spectrum of costs associated with partner violence as well as costs associated with differential justice system responses to protective order violations.

  • Justice System Response to Intimate Partner Violence in Asian Communities. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0009
    This study is a joint effort between the University of Michigan School of Social Work and the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. The investigators plan to provide empirical evidence to identify factors that promote and hinder effective interventions in Asian communities in response to domestic violence. The study will employ a face-to-face semi-structured interview method to collect data from 320 Asian battered women on: 1) the types and life course trajectories of IPV experienced; 2) longitudinal trajectories of contacts with the criminal justice system; 3) factors associated with help-seeking; 4) responses of criminal justice system components such as police, prosecution, and courts; and 5) the relationship between contacts with criminal justice and women's safety/well being over time.

  • Investigative Strategies for the Successful Prosecution of Intimate Partner Violence. Grant 2005-WG-BX-0011
    The key goal of this research project is to examine how investigative strategies affect the successful prosecution of IPV cases. More precisely the project will examine the extent to which 1) the thoroughness and timeliness of the officer's investigation; 2) the performance of a follow up investigation; and 3) the availability of a local police presence affect case outcomes and the reasons for case outcomes. The key objective of this research project is to create an empirically based investigation guide for law enforcement personnel to increase the likelihood of full and successful prosecution of IPV cases.

  • Evaluation of the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program Special Initiative: FBCO Pilot Program. Grant 2005-IJ-CX-0050
    The purpose of this evaluation is to determine whether and how intermediary organizations that work in many different contexts and are supported by the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) add value to the capacity of rural faith-based, and community organizations (FBCOs) in their delivery of domestic violence programs. Intermediary organizations are strategic. Their objective is to provide FBCOs with technical assistance so they can build their service delivery capacity. The dimensions of capacity building involve an organization's aspirations, strategies, organizational skills, human resources, systems and infrastructure, organizational structure, and culture. The evaluation plans to measure by triangulation the value added to the intermediaries. One dimension is to directly assess the capacity-building effects of intermediaries through interviews and focus groups. A second dimension is to use a Capacity Assessment Grid inventory to measure the capacity building that has taken place within the FBCOs. The final dimension is to examine evidence of capacity building that is available from the FBCOs' outcome measures. The evaluation will incorporate have baseline measurements, a process evaluation, and an outcome evaluation. These data will determine the significant processes used by the intermediaries and the FBCOs in the delivery of rural FBCO domestic violence services and capacity building. The processes will be illustrated with logic models that draw the connections between process inputs and the portfolio of intended FBCO outcomes. The rich collection of data will provide for thick descriptions of intermediary and sub-grantee activities. The outcome analysis will examine the variation among the sites with case studies supported by appropriate data analysis to find patterns of intermediary capacity-building assistance that result in successful FBCO outcomes.

  • Stages of Change and the Group Treatment of Batterers. Grant 2004-WG-BX-0001
    One individual difference in response to treatment among batterers may be readiness to change, best conceptualized by the stages of change (SOC) model. It is the purpose of this project to: 1. compare the effectiveness of a 26-week SOC group treatment with a standard 26-week cognitive-behavioral gender-reeducation (CBTGR) group treatment; 2. assess the integrity of the two treatments with respect to therapist adherence, therapist competence, and processes of change; 3. conduct exploratory analyses on individual readiness to change as a moderator of treatment condition in predicting outcomes; and 4. conduct exploratory analyses comparing the effectiveness of these two approaches in Spanish-speaking groups. Two-hundred-and-forty court-ordered English-speaking male batterers will be randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions, for a total of 12 groups in each condition and 10 men per group. In addition, 80 court-ordered Spanish-speaking male batterers will be randomly assigned to one of the two conditions, for a total of four groups in each condition. Effectiveness will be indicated by: a. increased involvement in treatment (lower attrition, higher working alliance, higher group cohesion); b. increased readiness to change; and c. desistance from violence (according to batterer self-report at post-treatment and partner reports at post-treatment, 6- and 12-month follow up). Groups will be conducted over the course of 2 years at the Montgomery County, Maryland Abused Persons Program (APP), with initial, mid-group, and post-treatment assessments collected on all group participants. Initial, post-treatment, 6-month and 12-month partner follow up assessments will be collected as a function of Montgomery County APP's participation in a project funded by the CDC (R49/CCR 319813-01) to predict batterers' response to treatment.

  • Court Responses to Batterer Program Noncompliance: A National Perspective. Grant 2004-WG-BX-0005
    The purpose of this study is to investigate how courts use batterer program mandates to keep defendants under tight court supervision. This study will involve a survey of criminal courts, batterer programs, and battered women's programs in each of the 50 states. An average of three communities per state will be surveyed (n=150). Selection criteria will include whether the community has a batterer program, battered women's agency, and a court that can respond. All communities whose courts mandate batterer programs pre-disposition will be included. The survey will assess: 1. how the court uses batterer programs pre- and post-disposition, 2. what policies exist for responding to noncompliance, and 3. how respondents perceive the message the court's enforcement practices send about the seriousness of intimate partner violence. The study will take place over a 15-month period.

  • The Impact of Proactive Enforcement of No-Contact Orders on Victim Safety and Repeat Victimization. Grant 2004-WG-BX-0007
    This research will examine the impact of intensive enforcement of court imposed no-contact orders (NCOs) on offender and victim behavior. Eight hundred cases of misdemeanor criminal domestic violence in which NCOs are imposed as a bond condition will be randomly assigned to either routine enforcement or to intensive enforcement, which will include proactive contacts and surveillance by officers while the orders are in place. Interviews will be conducted 6 weeks and 6 months following imposition of the NCO with 300 victims sampled at random from the 800 cases. The interviews will obtain information on compliance with the NCO, new victimization, police and justice system responses to reports of victimization, and feelings of safety and well-being. These and official records data will be used to develop models that examine both the prevalence and frequency of outcomes. This research will determine whether intensive enforcement reduces NCO violations and re-offending and increases victim safety and well-being. This is a 33-month study. The first 6 months will involve planning and pre-testing the instrument. Victim interviews will occur during the first 2 years of the project.

  • Examining the Effect of Different Case Screening Practices. Grant 2004-WG-BX-0009
    Widespread adoption of pro-arrest policies by police and adoption of tougher prosecutor stances in domestic violence cases have seriously taxed the resources of prosecutors in the last decade. One way in which many prosecutors have adapted to the strain is to decline to file arrests in which victims expressed unwillingness to cooperate with prosecutors. Today, there are widely divergent views among prosecutors about whether cases ought to be filed regardless of whether that is what victims seem to want. This research will take place in two sites in New York City where prosecutors have adopted different screening policies: Kings County (Brooklyn) and the County of the Bronx. However, since the sites are comparable in many other ways (including police arrest policies, court rules and administration, and state laws and requirements), there will be a strong quasi-experimental design. The researchers will track a sample of cases that the prosecutor declined to prosecute in one borough (Bronx) and a sample of similar cases that were prosecuted in the other borough (Brooklyn). They will test for differences between the samples in recidivism, stalking behavior, women's satisfaction with the justice system, utilization of victim services, willingness to report future incidents, victim empowerment and allocation of prosecutor and court resources.

  • Police Investigation of Rape: Roadblocks and Solutions. Grant 2003-IJ-CX-1003
    This research will explore the views of police officers on the perceived frustrations, roadblocks, and obstacles to the successful completion of a rape investigation. Through a survey methodology, this project will ask at least 150 first-response (patrol) officers and sheriff's deputies about these problems and look at their responses to a highly validated rape myth scale. Respondents will then be asked about ways in which they or others have overcome these obstacles and successfully completed investigations. The second group to be studied will be 25 experienced investigators. They will be asked similar questions but in a qualitative format in more depth and covering more issues, such as female offenders, false reports, false confessions, male victims, and lesbian rape. These investigators will be asked about marginalization, stress, time management, and other problems that they might face during an investigation. They will also be asked what techniques they use when handling cases in addition to basic police work, such as team investigation or profiling. The goal of this research is to discover what police officers see as problems in carrying out their duties and to highlight their successes in overcoming those problems. To foster discussion on the subject, a list of best practices suitable for distribution to police agencies will be produced at the end of the project.

  • Integrating Fatherhood into Batterer Programs: A Comparative. Grant 2003-WG-BX-1005
    The goal of this project is to determine whether a domestic violence curriculum with a strong emphasis on the effects of domestic violence on children (fatherhood component) produces a better outcome than the standard curriculum. The researchers will conduct both a process and an outcome evaluation. The study sample will consist of 200 men who sign up for Safe Horizon domestic violence programs in the Bronx or Brooklyn (New York) during a 12-month period. On consenting to participate in the study, half of the men will be assigned to the test group (a 26-week standard curriculum program compressed into a 16-week period, plus a 10-week module focusing on the impact of domestic violence on children), and half will be assigned to the control group (a standard 26-week curriculum, which includes one session devoted to the effects of violence on children). Semistructured, in-person interviews will be conducted with each of the participants at the first session after orientation, at the halfway mark, and at the final session. Telephone interviews will be conducted 3 months after course completion. Recidivism will be tracked by collecting information on each participant's arrest record 1 year after enrollment in the program.

  • A Study of the Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on the Workplace. Grant 2003-RD-CX-0021
    The purpose of this study is to examine how intimate partner violence impacts the workplace. In particular, the project endeavors to: 1) assess the overall impact, both financial and non-financial, of IPV on organizations; 2) assess the impact of IPV on employees, including victims, perpetrators and coworkers; 3) assess the impact of the workplace environment factors, both positive and negative, on IPV; and 4) gain a better understanding of the economics and public policy solutions to IPV. Researchers will administer surveys to generate a dataset which will be used to test the study's hypotheses. The proposed research will be conducted in several phases over the course of three years and will include multiple rounds of data collection and analysis. The anticipated products of this study are findings related to IPV and the workplace, and recommendations for organizational policies and practices that will minimize its negative effects.