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Conference Report - Victim Services

Overarching issue:

  • Language: what terms do we use? In what ways are these inconsistent or consistent among practitioners and researchers? Further, are these social problems framed in ways that can be understood by policy-makers, juries, prosecutors, etc.?
  • To what existing research projects, in-take forms, databases could researchers add a few questions (e.g., pharmacists)?

Areas for study:

Prevalence

  • Investigate problems affecting specific populations, i.e. women living rural communities, women in prison, nursing homes.
  • Document incidence of stalking, elder abuse, human trafficking in Maine.
  • Examine differences in rape prevalence relating to age, gender, and race/ethnicity, as well as other factors such as whether victims were first raped as minors.
  • Elder Abuse:
    • Investigate (aging) perpetrators still offending when in nursing home.
    • Incidence of victimization in nursing homes (chart reviews), both by peers, family, and personnel.
  • Identify prevalence of relationship abuse (sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking) among children in group home settings.
  • Identify the prevalence of abuse among teenage parents.

Services

  • Prevalence of victim services, particularly in rural areas.
  • Identification of creative strategies and best practices for providing services, particularly for special populations (e.g., rural, elderly).
  • Evaluate hospital response to victims.
  • Evaluate training for medical/nursing staff.
  • Assess faith-based communities response.
  • Investigate the intersection of victim services with child services: what are the problems, challenges, successes; what are recommendations for improvements?

Legal issues

  • Case review and tracking (dismissed, plea bargains, prosecution) for sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
  • Factors that impact jurors’ perceptions and decisions.
  • Investigate qualifications of expert witnesses.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of probation officers’ approaches with DV cases.
  • Impact of batterers’ release on probation on victim (and community).

Other

  • Phenomenological study of life with an abuser, impact on children, victim’s parenting choices.
  • Impact of the lifetime experience of sexual and physical abuse on women’s economic situation (including dependency on welfare).
  • What factors contribute to reporting?
  • Women’s stay/leave decision-making process and experiences reuniting with batterer (see Mouradian, 2004).
  • Relationship abuse (sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking) and the workplace.

Reference:

Mouradian, V.E. (2004). Battered women: What goes into the stay-leave decision? Research & Action Report. Retrieved March 15, 2006 from http://www.wcwonline.org/p-comm-abuse.html.


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