This report gives practitioners the research on perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, the impact of current responses to such violence, and the implications of that research for day-to-day, real-world responses to domestic violence by law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges.
Researchers interviewed participants within the first week of leaving a shelter program. After the first interview, some of those involved were randomly selected to work with an advocate. They compared the effect of the advocacy intervention between those who received the service and those who did not. In their cluster analysis and found that DV victims present three groups of needs: those related to housing, education and employment, and legal issues. They found that of those leaving a domestic violence shelter, 59 percent reported unmet legal needs.
The decline in intimate partner abuse from 1993 to 1998 has three significant causes, one of which is the increased provision of legal services for victims of intimate partner abuse. This is a widely cited study.
The 2016 Biennial Report to Congress on the Effectiveness of Grant Programs Under the Violence Against Women Act
In response to the reporting requirements authorized by VAWA 2000, the 2016 biennial Report to Congress on the effectiveness of Grant funds under the Violence against Women act (2016 biennial Report) presents aggregate qualitative and quantitative data submitted by grantees of 23 currently and formerly authorized discretionary grant programs administered by the Office on Violence against Women (OVW). This report also presents current research on best practices to respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking, which OVW uses to invest in proven strategies and solutions to further the common goal of ending domestic and sexual violence.
Researchers at the Urban Institute document the needs of human trafficking survivors. Through interviews and surveys with legal and social service providers, they identify stigma, misconceptions about victimization, xenophobia, and criminalization as major obstacles for human trafficking survivors.
Runge writes that domestic violence victims present a myriad of legal needs, some of which include needing accommodations at a place of employment, like missing work to attend court or counseling or missing work due to injuries. They may exceed annual leave and be under threat of losing their jobs. Legal aid can help secure accommodations and protect them at the workplace.
Legal Services for the Elderly (LSE) is a nonprofit organization in Maine that provides free legal assistance. The University of Maine Center on Aging conducted a legal needs assessment of older Americans in the state. They find that between 45 and 86 percent of those surveyed experienced legal problems within the last three years.
Final Report of the Impact of Legal Representation on Child Custody Decisions Among Families with a History of Intimate Partner Violence Study
This study tested whether legal representation of DV victim in child custody decisions leads to greater protections and visitation decisions when compared to those who are not represented. When individuals had legal representation, in comparison to those who did not have legal representation but who qualified for legal aid, the DV victim was 85 percent more likely to have denied visitation to the abusing parent and 77 percent more likely to have restrictions placed on the abusing parent’s visitation (if granted at all).
Comprehensive Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking: Findings From Clients in Three Communities
Researchers at the Urban Institute conducted interviews with survivors of human trafficking and social service providers. They find a large unmet need for legal services.
Older African American Women and Barriers to Reporting Domestic Violence to Law Enforcement in the Rural Deep South
The main reasons for not going to law enforcement when experiencing abuse was fear of being stigmatized by their church, family, and community. The researchers reviewed data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System and conducted fieldwork in four rural counties in the Black Belt of Alabama. They find that when women feel more independent, which can be furthered by legal services such as assisting with benefits and outreach, they were more likely to come forward to seek out law enforcement.