Since 2006, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has been conducting Domestic Violence Counts, a census of domestic violence (dv) services. The census is a count of adults and children who seek services from U.S. Domestic Violence programs during a single 24-hour survey period. It documents the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet due to lack of resources, and the issues and barriers that Domestic Violence programs face supporting survivors of domestic violence. The information gathered from the census provides a snapshot of the daily successes and struggles programs face while assisting survivors.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been participating in the census count since the NNEDV began conducting the survey. It’s important that domestic violence programs across the country are participating in the 24-hour census because, even though it only gives a snapshot, it provides us with useful information that we can share with the community, and use for funding purposes. What’s further appealing is that the National Network to End Domestic Violence uses the data collected from the census count for policy advocacy. For example, data that includes statistics like, in 2012, Domestic Violence programs served over 64,300 individuals yet there were over 10,000 unmet requests for services in that one day. Most of the time these unmet requests for services are due to the lack of sustainable funding.
On a positive note, the data collected from the 24-hour census count validates the work that Domestic Violence aDVocates do on a daily basis. It feels good knowing that California supported 5,258 individuals seeking domestic violence services in just one day. It’s also important to note that 42 states had a 80-100% response rate, meaning, at those rates, domestic violence programs and shelters within a state responded back to NNEDV with their findings for that day. This shows how invested the domestic violence community is in doing this, at times, difficult yet rewarding work. For more information about the National Network to End Domestic Violence Census Count, visit: http://www.nnedv.org/resources/census/3418-2012-report.html