Of the ten most commonly provided services by domestic violence programs in the U.S., half fall within the category of emergency services, according to data compiled by and powering DomesticShetlers.org, the first online and mobile searchable database that helps people find assistance faster and easier when experiencing domestic violence.
The three most common in-house emergency services, based on the percentage of domestic violence programs offering them, are safety planning (90.0%), domestic violence education (87.3%) and case management (86.6%). The least common emergency services are providing emergency cell phones (66.1%) for use by victims and survivors and offering a safe home network (21.2%), although 77.9% offer emergency shelter.
“That emergency services are among the most prevalent services is not surprising given the emergent nature of domestic violence,” said Anita Hildreth, executive director of Theresa's Fund which operates DomesticShelters.org. “Still, we’re keenly aware of many times when victims with immediate needs are not being accommodated due to lack of capacity in the network of programs providng services.”
The other emergency services tracked by DomesticShelters.org include case management (86.6%), providing food and clothing (84.2%), offering a 24/7 hotline (77.8%), lethality assessments (74.3%) and emergency local transportation (70.1%).
The data shows that the five states where domestic violence organizations score highest for comprehensiveness of emergency services – based on the frequency with which each type of emergency service is being provided by each domestic violence program – are Wyoming, Alaska, Rhode Island, Virginia and Nebraska.
Tip of the Iceberg for Stats on Domestic Violence Programs
“In addition to its role of helping people find help faster and easier, DomesticShelters.org is proving to be an indispensable treasure trove of data revealing how domestic violence services are being provided in the U.S.,” adds Chris McMurry, director at Theresa’s Fund. “In each of the coming years we expect to be able to identify year-over-year trends that should help programs, their leadership and funding sources improve services, and hopefully, reduce the violence.”
In addition to emergency services, DomesticShelters.org is gathering data on other service categories – such as financial and legal services, counseling services, housing services, support services and children’s services – and a total of 46 individual services within those categories. The website is also gathering data on utilization of services, community education, languages and populations served, and operating budgets and funding sources.
More than 3,000 domestic violence programs are identified on DomesticShelters.org and varying levels of information exist on each. The information on each program is self-reported and can include up to 156 data points for each program. Researchers involved in analyzing the data say that the information has a +/- 3% degree of accuracy at a 95% confidence level when viewed on a national basis.
The database behind DomesticShelters.org is the largest of its kind ever created, and importantly, gives users of the website the ability to enter their location, language and service preferences, and with a single mouse click, instantly see the most proximate, relevant opportunities for help.
According to Google more than 3,000,000 searches are conducted per month for information related to domestic violence, and most often related to seeking help. The website is optimized for smartphone and tablet use, recognizing that consumers are increasingly using their devices to conduct searches. In fact, nearly half of the website’s visitors are from mobile devices. For helpful articles related to identifying domestic violence and escaping abuse, please visit DomesticShelters.org.
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. Originally, and 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./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.