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|Title||The Complexities of Victim Research: Implementation Lessons from the Victim Impact Evaluation of Nonprofit Victim Services in the STOP Program|
Zweig, Janine M.
Burt, Martha R.
|Pub. Date||Jul 2002|
|Abstract||Many nonprofit victim service agencies do not have the infrastructure to support research efforts to evaluate their service offerings. Funding sources often do not want to make the investment necessary for studies to be fully successful. The Victim Impact Evaluation Project is discussed based on the experience of studying violent crimes against women and changing the design over the course of the project. One of the troubles encountered was that many sites had problems recruiting women to be interviewed. Another was the nature of the agency and its concern for the well being of the vulnerable women it serves. Low client flow was a primary difficulty for some of the communities. Some agencies resented being asked to do work for which they were not being paid. Some agency staff were unwilling to recruit women for the study although their agencies had agreed to be a part of the study. Another problem was that recruitment took place throughout the summer and early autumn, which overlapped with staff vacations. Insights gained throughout the study process were that using State coordinators was beneficial because they were available for troubleshooting and problem solving on a daily basis. Regarding recruiting sites, evaluators may want to bring a larger body that is effective with and trusted by programs in the State into the project from the beginning. The connection that State coordinators had with sites might have given the evaluators the edge to convince them to participate. Agencies should reflect the range of program size that actually exists in the State. The team of individuals identifying sites should consider the individual personalities of the people doing the project, the morale of agency staff, and how best to approach the agency and get staff buy-in for the study. Another important issue was whether to recruit women prospectively or to retrospectively identify help seekers through client records. source|
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