Assessing the Need for Domestic Violence Victim Services in One Rural County
AbstractDomestic violence in rural areas presents special problems for law enforcement. In 1997, the Latah County, Idaho sheriff's office, police department, prosecutor's office, and the local Violence Against Women agency received a STOP Violence Against Women Act of 1994 1 grant from the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement to improve services to domestic violence victims. As an important first step, a needs assessment of county services available to victims was necessary. A standardized, close-ended questionnaire was developed and administered to the entire population of domestic violence service providers in Latah County—law enforcement, and legal, social, and medical service providers. Results revealed that service providers had the most knowledge about their own professions and were more critical of other local service provider agencies than of their own. A description of the needs assessment process, the survey instrument, the data collected, data analyses, and implications are discussed .