Friday, March 23, 2007

Verizon Wireless "Great Place To Work Ads" Feature HopeLine and Domestic Violence Survivors

CAEPV Member Verizon Wireless is running a series of “Great Place to Work” ads – with a twist. They all carry a message about domestic violence and Hopeline. Newspaper ads will appear in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as state capital newspapers in Albany, Trenton, Annapolis, and Richmond. In addition, there will be radio ads featuring those highlighted in the print ads. The ads began appearing on March 15 and the campaign will run for approximately a year. To see an example of one of the ads click here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

50,000 Americans Touched By Domestic Violence Programs In One Day

In a single day, domestic violence programs served more than 50,000 adults and children in the United States. This astonishing data comes from the release of Domestic Violence Counts: the National Census of Domestic Violence Services (NCDVS) – a first of its kind survey. Conducted by CAEPV Member the National Network to End Domestic Violence and health economists at Harvard University, the NCDVS is the most recent data documenting the number of individuals served by domestic violence programs. In addition to providing a national snapshot, the NCDVS report also includes state-level data.

More than 1,200 domestic violence programs from across the country (62%) participated in the survey, giving advocates and researchers a glimpse into the number of individuals seeking services, the types of services requested and the number of service requests that went unmet due to a lack of resources. However, because the survey was not able to obtain a count from all domestic violence programs, advocates say the data only skims the surface. “While the census provides advocates and policymakers with tremendous insight into the need for domestic violence services, the sobering fact is that there are still many more victims who need our help,” said Else. “We need to ensure that resources are available to not only meet current needs, but to also increase public awareness so that all victims know help is available.”

The NCDVS collected a national, unduplicated count of adults and children who received life-saving services from domestic violence programs on November 2, 2006. During the 24-hour survey period 47,864 received direct services, including:
· more than 14,000 Americans sought refuge in emergency shelters
· almost 8,000 lived in transitional housing facilities
· more than 25,000 received non-residential services such as counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support groups

However, the survey found there was still a significant need for services. More than 10% of requests for services were referred elsewhere because domestic violence programs did not have the resources to aid them. “Funding cuts preclude us from employing an overnight advocate,” reported a domestic violence program in California which participated in the census. “Many times lack of overnight coverage is a deterrent for victims seeking shelter.”

In addition to providing shelter and advocacy services, domestic violence programs invested a significant amount of time and energy raising public awareness in their communities. During the survey period, domestic violence programs informed more than 40,000 Americans about domestic violence, available resources, and what they could do to help prevent the violence. Participating programs logged an unduplicated count of adults and children accessing their services between 8 a.m. EST on November 2, 2006 to 7:59 a.m. EST on November 3, 2006. This “snapshot” approach allowed researchers to document the scope of services without collecting victim-identifying data. To learn more click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Study Finds 1 in 4 US Women Over Age 65 Have Been Victims of Domestic VIolence

About one in four women older than 65 has been the victim of physical, sexual or psychological violence at the hands of a spouse or other intimate partner, according to a study done in two northwestern states. About 3.5% of the women surveyed had suffered violence in the past five years, and 2.2% in the past year. "Intimate partner violence is not a problem only for younger women," said Amy Bonomi, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.
The study appears in the February 2007 issue of The Gerontologist. It involved telephone interviews with 370 women aged 65 years and older who belonged to a health care system in western Washington state and northern Idaho. Bonomi said this is one of only a handful of studies to focus solely on the depth and breadth of violence perpetrated by intimate partners against older women.The results showed that 26.5% of the women surveyed reported violence by an intimate partner over their lifetimes. Of those who reported abuse, most were the victims of multiple types. "It was very rare that women experienced only one type of violence," Bonomi said. "Over half experienced two or more types of violence. That's troubling."
About 18% reported sexual or physical abuse and 22% were the victims of psychological abuse, including being threatened, called derogatory names or having their behavior controlled by their partner. The psychological abuse experienced by women in this study was not minor, Bonomi said. About 70% of women who experienced verbal threats by an intimate partner said these threats were severe. Additionally, women who reported controlling behavior had experienced this abuse for an average of 10 years.
In spite of the breadth and depth of violence in this group of women, only 3% said they had been asked by a health care provider about physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner since age 18. "Not enough doctors and other health care professionals are screening women for intimate partner abuse," Bonomi said. "The health care setting is a crucial focus for victims, because it provides a safe, confidential place for ongoing interactions between abused women and their health care providers."While the prevalence of violence found in this study is startling enough, Bonomi said it is probably an underestimate of how much it actually occurred. One reason is that women were asked to recall abuse over a lifetime. There may have been a tendency for women to downplay violence experienced early in life. In addition, women who participated in the study were consistently insured and highly educated. Violence rates tend to be higher in women without consistent insurance and women with less formal education.
Intimate partner violence takes not only a personal toll, but a financial one as well, according to Bonomi. In an earlier study by Bonomi and her colleagues, findings showed the health care costs for abused women were 19% higher than for non-abused women. "We found that health care costs for abused women were still higher even five years after the abuse stopped," Bonomi said. "This underscores the need to pay attention to the issue of intimate partner violence in health care settings." The study was supported by the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality. (Source: Ohio State University)