MORE THAN JUST SHELTER.
First of its kind census shows scope of domestic violence services across the United States.
More than 500 Kansans receive services daily
On average more than 10 hotline calls answered every hour.
Topeka, Kan. - In a single day, 564 adults and children in Kansas sought services from domestic violence agencies. This startling data comes from today's inaugural release of "Domestic Violence Counts: the National Census of Domestic Violence Services (NCDVS)," the first-ever national one-day census on domestic violence services. Conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Harvard University researchers, the census is the most recent data documenting the number of victims who reach out for help.
"These numbers are startling considering Kansas is an overwhelmingly rural state," said Sandy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). "The census reminds us that we still have much more to do to achieve safe homes and safe streets. We are reminded of the five Kansas women who were apparently murdered by their former or current spouse or boyfriend since the census was taken in November."
The NCDVS collected a national, unduplicated count of adults and children who received life-saving services from domestic violence programs on November 2, 2006. According to KCSDV, 16 of the 26 domestic violence programs (59.2%) in Kansas participated in the census.
During the 24-hour survey period, 564 Kansas residents sought refuge in emergency shelters; lived in transitional housing facilities; or received non-residential services such as counseling, legal advocacy and children's support groups. In addition, 248 hotline calls were answered by domestic violence advocates, which totals more than 10 hotline calls every hour.
However, the survey found there is still a significant need for services. Eighty (80) Kansas residents who requested services were referred elsewhere because local programs did not have the resources to aid them.
"While these numbers provide our state with tremendous insight into the need for domestic violence services, we know that there are still victims out there who have not sought help," Barnett said. "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."
More than 1,200 of the 2,016 (62%) domestic violence programs from across the country 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.
Participating programs logged an unduplicated count of adults and children accessing their services between 8:00 a.m. on November 2, 2006 to 7:59 a.m. on November 3, 2006. This ÒsnapshotÓ approach allowed researchers to document the scope of services without collecting victim-identifying data.
"Individuals seeking domestic violence services are often in immediate danger and need to keep their location a secret. Unfortunately, most research methods place victims at risk," said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. "The National Census of Domestic Violence Services was designed to protect the safety and confidentiality needs of victims. We are proud to have pioneered this effort."
Appendix 1: Executive Summary
Appendix 1 Executive Summary In Spanish: En Español Resumen Ejecutivo
Snapshot By State/Territory, (change the last 2 letters to see your state: AK, ID, PA.pdf)
KCSDV is a membership organization made up of 30 sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs in Kansas. These programs provide direct services to victims of sexual and domestic violence. KCSDV's purpose is to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence by providing technical assistance, training, legislative advocacy, and policy analysis on a variety of topics for member programs, professionals and ally organizations across Kansas. During the State of Kansas' fiscal year 2006, KCSDV member programs responded to more than 22,000 crisis calls from victims of sexual and domestic violence, provided more than 74,000 shelter nights, and provided services to more than 20,000 victims.