Home News Report Looks at National Impact of DomesticShelters.org

Report Looks at National Impact of DomesticShelters.org

Survivors, Professionals Embracing Website's Offering

August 08, 2016

Theresa’s Fund issued the first-ever impact report on its online service DomesticShelters.org, shedding new light on the effect and role that the dynamic and ambitious project is having within its two primary markets – U.S. and Canada – among domestic violence survivors and those working to help them.

Among the key outcomes are that survivors and domestic violence professionals believe DomesticShelters.org provides more value to survivors than any other leading domestic violence website, according to a July 2016 survey, and that 93% of those surveyed think DomesticShelters.org is one of the most important new national resources developed in the last five years.

“Tremendous progress has been made in the two short years that DomesticShelters.org has been in existence,” said Anita Hildreth, executive director of Theresa’s Fund, an organization that from 1992-2014 was focused on domestic violence initiatives only in Arizona. “We’re pleased to be part of the growing community of great organizations and people bringing fresh ideas and working to make a quantifiable difference in people’s lives.”

The website is the first and largest online and mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. It is assisting an average of 150 per hour currently, or about 1.3 million visitors on an annualized basis.

The website is the fastest growing in the domestic violence field with traffic having increased by 250% year over year. On average, each visitor has frequented the site 22.5 times during the prior 12 months, according to the survey, with 88% having used the 300+ articles, checklists and other content, and 59% having used the website’s search tool to query its database of 3,000+ programs/shelters in the U.S. and Canada to find the best match based on their location or other specified preferences.

People from more than 7,000 cities have visited the website. Women represent 90% of the visitors, and although there are fairly even numbers of visitors across all age groups, the largest segment at 27% are aged 35-44 years old. More than half of the visits to the mobile-friendly website originate from a smartphone or tablet. Additional findings include:

  • 1.4 million domestic violence programs have been presented to visitors using the search tool,
  • 94% of visitors find the website helpful
  • 97% of visitors found the website’s content to be high quality
  • 86% of visitors say the website makes finding help faster and easier
  • 79% of visitors shared the knowledge gained from the website with others
  • 93% of visitors say the website offers information that was not readily available previously

“We receive notes from programs and survivors via email and social media every day thanking and encouraging us. There’s been no shortage of powerful qualitative feedback since the outset,” added Hildreth. “The quantitative data reinforces what we’ve been hearing all along and serves as extra motivation to do even more by expanding what we offer survivors and local programs.”

About Theresa’s Fund

Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. At a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grant making, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the DomesticShelters.org concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S. and Canada. DomesticShelters.org is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.