The Client/Funder: National Institutes of Justice
The Challenges: Mainstream domestic violence (DV) services often fail to meet the needs of women from specific ethnic groups (e.g. African American, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Latina, American Indian/Alaska Native, Amharic-speaking (Ethiopian), Russian-speaking, Filipina) and lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender people (LBT) in Seattle. Furthermore, little is understood and documented regarding the cultural experience of DV for these women. Research with these communities requires a close partnership with agencies already serving these marginalized women. Improving access to, and satisfaction with, DV services for non-mainstream women would require a deep investigation of how these survivors define DV and what barriers they face in trying to address it.
- Participatory action research involving close collaboration with community-based DV providers. This helped to ensure that the research was culturally appropriate and that findings were relevant and usable.
- Process evaluation components that allowed the partners to reflect on the collaboration, purpose and structure of the assessment.
- Thorough textual review of existing reports, meeting notes, and academic literature.
- Focus groups and interviews with both survivors and service providers.
- Facilitation of strategic planning meetings to utilize evaluation findings and identify goals and feasible next steps for collaborative interventions.
- Findings from the assessment revealed that women from these communities experienced many of the same forms of abuse as mainstream women, but in addition, their violence took place against the backdrop of social and economic marginalization. Documentation of their experiences was a first both locally and nationally.
- Identifying the cultural and linguistic barriers to service gave both mainstream and specialized service providers a place to start to improve service access.
- Women identified specific help needed for themselves and their peers who are survivors. These specific ideas were then used as a starting point for collaborative intervention development.
- Partners participated in a series of strategic planning meetings based on the assessment findings and applied for, and received, funds to develop and evaluate interventions.
This project was conducted within the Epidemiology, Planning and Evaluation unit of Public Health-Seattle & King County.