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Evaluation of Victim Advocacy Services Funded by the Violence Against Women Act in Urban Ohio, 1999 (ICPSR 2992) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The focus of this research and evaluation endeavor was on direct service programs in Ohio, particularly advocacy services for female victims of violence, receiving funding through the Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors (STOP) formula grants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994. The objectives of this project were (1) to describe and compare existing advocacy services in Ohio, (2) to compare victim advocacy typologies and identify key variables in the delivery of services, (3) to develop a better understanding of how victim advocacy services are defined and delivered, and (4) to assess the effectiveness of those services. For Part 1, Service Agencies Data, comprehensive information about 13 VAWA-funded programs providing direct services in urban Ohio was gathered through a mailback questionnaire and phone interviews. Detailed information was collected on organizational structure, clients served, and agency services. Focus groups were also used to collect data from clients (Parts 3-11) and staff (Parts 12-23) about their definitions of advocacy, types of services needed by victims, services provided to victims, and important outcomes for service providers. Part 2, Police Officer Data, focused on police officers' attitudes toward domestic violence and on evaluating service outcomes in one particular agency. The agency selected was a prosecutor's office that planned to improve services to victims by changing how the police and prosecutors responded to domestic violence cases. The prosecutor's office selected one police district as the site for implementing the new program, which included training police officers and placing a prosecutor in the district office to work directly with the police on domestic violence cases. The evaluation of this program was designed to assess the effectiveness of the police officers' training and officers' increased access to information from the prosecutor on the outcome of the case. Police officers from the selected district were administered surveys. Also surveyed were officers from another district that handled a similar number of domestic violence cases and had a comparable number of officers employed in the district. Variables in Part 1 include number of staff, budget, funding sources, number and type of victims served, target population, number of victims served speaking languages other than English, 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 cover police officers' views on whether it was a waste of time to prosecute domestic violence cases, if 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 with domestic violence cases, 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.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.

    A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Service Agencies Data - Download All Files (427 KB)
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SDA
DS2:  Police Officer Data - Download All Files (222 KB)
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SDA
DS3:  Client Focus Group 1 Data
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DS4:  Client Focus Group 2 Data
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DS5:  Client Focus Group 3 Data
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DS6:  Client Focus Group 4 Data
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DS7:  Client Focus Group 5 Data
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DS8:  Client Focus Group 6 Data
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DS9:  Client Focus Group 7 Data
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DS10:  Client Focus Group 8 Data
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DS11:  Client Focus Group 9 Data
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DS12:  Staff Focus Group 1 Data
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DS13:  Staff Focus Group 2 Data
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DS14:  Staff Focus Group 3 Data
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DS15:  Staff Focus Group 4 Data
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DS16:  Staff Focus Group 5 Data
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DS17:  Staff Focus Group 6 Data
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DS18:  Staff Focus Group 7 Data
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DS19:  Staff Focus Group 8 Data
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DS20:  Staff Focus Group 9 Data
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DS21:  Staff Focus Group 10 Data
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DS22:  Staff Focus Group 11 Data
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DS23:  Staff Focus Group 12 Data
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Study Description

Citation

Bohmer, Carol, Denise E. Bronson, Helen Hartnett, Jennifer Brandt, and Kristen S. Kania. EVALUATION OF VICTIM ADVOCACY SERVICES FUNDED BY THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT IN URBAN OHIO, 1999. 2nd ICPSR version. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University [producer], 2000. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004. doi:10.3886/ICPSR02992.v2

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (97-WT-VX-0009)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   battered women, case processing, client characteristics, clients, domestic violence, law enforcement agencies, personnel, police response, police training, program evaluation, victim services, victims

Smallest Geographic Unit:   none

Geographic Coverage:   Ohio, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1999

Unit of Observation:   Part 1: Programs, Parts 2-23: Individuals.

Universe:   Part 1: All victim advocacy service agencies that provided direct services and were located in Ohio urban centers. Part 2: All police officers in an urban Ohio district where the prosecutor's office implemented a new training program, and all officers from a comparison district. Parts 3-11: Clients of victim advocacy service agencies in Ohio urban centers. Parts 12-23: Staff of victim advocacy service agencies in Ohio urban centers.

Data Types:   survey data, and focus group data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Data collected from focus group sessions with clients (Parts 3-11) and staff (Parts 12-23) of victim advocacy service providers are available through the Restricted Access Data Archive. (2) The user guide, codebook, and data collection instruments are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The focus of this research and evaluation endeavor was on direct service programs in Ohio, particularly advocacy services for female victims of violence, receiving funding through the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) formula grants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994. It was undertaken as a collaborative partnership between the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) and the Ohio State University (OSU). The objectives of this project were (1) to describe and compare existing advocacy services in Ohio, (2) to compare victim advocacy typologies and identify key variables in the delivery of services, (3) to develop a better understanding of how victim advocacy services are defined and delivered, and (4) to assess the effectiveness of those services. There were two components to this evaluation: a study of victim service agencies (Parts 1 and 3-23) 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 (a) the types of agencies providing services, (b) how those programs defined advocacy, (c) how those definitions were reflected in the services being delivered, and (d) what outcomes the funded agencies hoped to achieve. The program evaluation sought 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.

Study Design:   In fiscal year 1996, 55 programs in Ohio were competitively selected through a grants process to receive VAWA funding. For this study, VAWA programs in urban centers were selected, since they offered the largest number of clients and the richest diversity of services. The number of agencies participating in the evaluation was further restricted to agencies identified as providing direct services to victims. When these two criteria were applied, 13 victim advocacy programs were identified to participate in the evaluation. For Part 1, Service Agencies Data, a survey was mailed to each of the 13 agencies to collect comprehensive information about services provided for victims. Respondents could either mail or fax their completed surveys to the investigators. Additionally, a few telephone interviews were conducted due to time constraints. The survey was designed to collect detailed information from each of the projects based on OCJS and VAWA quarterly performance reports, and to solicit more detailed information on organizational structure, clients served, and agency services. Focus groups were also used to collect data from clients (Parts 3-11) and staff (Parts 12-23) about definitions of advocacy, type of services needed by victims, services that are provided, and the outcomes that are important to service providers. This qualitative approach allowed the researchers to describe services from the perspectives of the recipients and the providers and to compare their views on critical questions while still being sensitive to the needs of the women who participated. Each of the focus groups lasted one to one and a half hours and the discussions were audio-taped for later transcription and analysis. The number of participants in each group ranged from two to sixteen. No demographic data were collected on the participants in an effort to protect respondent confidentiality of the clients and staff. Site codes were also omitted for the same reason. Part 2, Police Officer Data, focused on police officers' attitudes toward domestic violence and on evaluating service outcomes in one particular agency. The agency selected was a prosecutor's office that aimed to improve services to victims by changing how the police and prosecutors responded to domestic violence cases. The prosecutor's office chose one police district as the site for implementing the new program, which included training police officers and placing a prosecutor in the district office to work directly with the police on domestic violence cases. A questionnaire was developed to evaluate the police training program, and police officers from the selected district were administered the surveys. Also surveyed were officers from another district who handled a similar number of domestic violence cases and employed a comparable number of officers. The first 20 questions of the survey were completed by all respondents in both districts and addressed attitudes toward domestic violence cases. Five additional questions were included on the version distributed to the selected district to assess the officers' reactions to the procedural changes that were implemented as part of the new approach to dealing with domestic violence.

Data Source:

Most of the data from Part 1 were collected with mailback questionnaires. Some telephone interviews were conducted for Part 1 due to time constraints. Part 2 data were collected through self-enumerated questionnaires. Data for Parts 3 to 23 were gathered through focus groups.

Description of Variables:   Variables in Part 1 include number of staff, budget, funding sources, number and types of victims served, target population, number of victims served speaking languages other than English, 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 cover police officers' views on whether it was a waste of time to prosecute domestic violence cases, if these cases were likely to result in a conviction, whether they felt sympathetic toward the victims or blamed the victims, how the prosecution should proceed with domestic violence cases, how the prosecution and police worked together on such cases, whether domestic violence was a private matter, and, for officers participating in the new program implemented under VAWA, how they felt about the program. In Parts 3-11 clients were asked about what brought them to the service agency, why they chose that particular agency, what it was like at the agency, if they felt safe, whether the staff were supportive, what types of services they received and whether the services met their needs, and their biggest success in coming to the agency. In Parts 12-23 staff were asked what brought women to their agency, how they described their target population, why women chose their agency, what women needed from their agency, whether the women felt safe at their agency, whether staff were supportive of clients, what services women received, whether these services met the needs of women, and what were the biggest successes of their clients.

Response Rates:   The response rate for Part 1 was 85 percent. The response rate for Part 2 is unknown.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used in Parts 1 and 2.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CQ2992.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CQ2992.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CQ2992.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CQ2992.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CQ2992.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 2004-06-10 Focus group data were added to the collection as Parts 3-23. These data parts are only available through the Restricted Access Data Archive.

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