• March/April 2001
  • Vol. 2, No. 2

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Governors Association Reports on States' Efforts to Prevent Family Violence

A new Issue Brief produced by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices deals with family violence and how States are combating it. Since family violence affects adults and children alike, prevention strategies that take a collaborative and cross-system approach are the most effective, the report states.

The report begins with an overview of family violence in America today, providing data on its monetary and non-monetary costs. It breaks down family violence into three categories--domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse--and gives more detailed information on the incidence and consequences of the first two categories (elder abuse is not covered in depth in the report).

The report also explores three levels of governmental responses to family violence--the legal system, human services, and health services. Some recent trends and current efforts in these areas are described, including activities in four States: Arizona, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.

Topics relating to the legal system include cross-agency training; dedicated and specialized courts; batterer interventions; automated databases; the full faith and credit provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act; protective orders; risk and danger assessments; and animal control officers.

Topics under human services include collocation of specialists and/or cross-agency training; screening and assessment; employment leave and unemployment insurance laws; emergency payments and address confidentiality; and child support enforcement protections.

Health-related topics include developing protocols for victims and perpetrators of violence; educating families and women about violence-related issues; addressing domestic violence as part of teen pregnancy prevention and parenting programs; maintaining medical records for use as evidence of assault in legal proceedings; and providing special advocacy and mental health services for mothers and their children who are victims of family violence.

Included are a list of Federal funding sources relating to family violence, and lists of related publications and organizations.

To obtain a copy of report, entitled Building Bridges Across Systems: State Innovations to Address and Prevent Family Violence, contact Thomas MacLellan at 202-624-5427 or download a copy of the 23-page report online at: http://www.nga.org/cda/files/001017FAMVIOLENCE.PDF.

Related Items

"Nebraska Group Addresses Needs of Children Subjected to Domestic Violence" (March/April 2001)

Search for more CB Express articles on domestic violence by typing "domestic violence" in the CBX Search box at http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/.

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