Journal Issue: Domestic Violence and Children Volume 9 Number 3 Winter 1999
The Role of Domestic Violence Service Programs
Domestic violence services are usually provided by community-based, nonprofit organizations that, unlike CPS, are not highly regulated by federal or state law or policy. The domestic violence movement began in the mid-1970s as a grass roots response to the fact that public institutions and private agencies were not addressing the needs of battered women. Hundreds of community-based shelters and support groups for battered women were organized throughout the country. In addition, as part of the women's liberation movement, the domestic violence movement worked for social change-in particular, for the reform of society and its institutions to end violence against women.14
Today, there are about 1,800 domestic violence service programs in the United States.15 These community-based programs provide a wide range of services, including shelter; 24-hour crisis lines; counseling; advocacy with police, courts, and other agencies; information about legal options; and assistance with transportation, housing, financial aid, and emergency medical needs.16 Battered women voluntarily seek out the services of domestic violence programs.
Domestic violence service programs generally receive some state and federal funding. 17 However, these funding sources do not fully support programs. As a result, most domestic violence service programs are also engaged in continuous fundraising efforts in their local communities and rely heavily on unpaid volunteers.