National Network to End Domestic Violence Official Website

escape this website SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. Learn more technology safety tips. There is always a computer trail, but you can leave this site quickly.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence. Click to return to the home page.

Text Size:

Action Alerts

Content

Census: Domestic Violence Counts

NNEDV's Domestic Violence Counts: National Census of Domestic Violence Services (Census) is an annual noninvasive, unduplicated count of adults and children who seek services from U.S. domestic violence shelter programs during a single 24-hour survey period. Conducted annually by NNEDV since 2006, this Census takes into account the dangerous nature of domestic violence by using a survey designed to protect the confidentiality and safety of victims.

Read Reports: 201420132012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

 Print 

 

Domestic Violence Counts: National Census of Domestic Violence Services (Census)

Who should I contact if I have any questions about this report?

  • Please contact the Communications team at 202-543-5566 or via email.

What is the name of the report?

When was the survey conducted?

  • September 10, 2014.

Can we get data for a specific city or county?

  • No. For confidentiality and safety reasons, we only provide state-level aggregate reports.

How can we interpret the data?

  • Please take a look at the Understanding the Data section to properly understand how you can interpret the study. If you have more questions about the data or the report, please contact Cindy Southworth at 202-543-5566.

Compared to last year, the number of survivors who sought services increased. Does this mean that the number of domestic violence victims has increased?

  • Although the actual 2014 number is higher compared to Domestic Violence Counts 2013, increased demand for services does not necessarily mean that prevalenceor incidence is increasing. Over 67,000 adult and child victims were served in one day in 2014 compared to a similar survey participation rate and number of local programs from 2013. This increased demand for services may be due in part to economic barriers, effective outreach and education reaching more victims, and other factors.  

Is the economy causing more domestic violence?

  • A bad economy does not cause domestic violence, nor does a good economy stop domestic violence. In homes where domestic violence exists, however, job loss and economic stress and scarcity can exacerbate existing domestic violence. For more information, please refer to NNEDV's handout, The Impact of the Economy on Domestic Violence.

What other resources are available?

Return to main Domestic Violence Counts reports: http://nnedv.org/census

 Print 

 

Domestic Violence Counts: National Census of Domestic Violence Services (Census)

How can we use the data?

  • The National Domestic Violence Counts Census Report provides a safe, noninvasive snapshot of the important work you do every day. Keeping survivors’ confidentiality and safety at the forefront, this report allows you to share the incredible, life-saving work you do with community members, funders, the media, and others.

Can we get data for just our organization or region?

  • For confidentiality and safety reasons, we only provide reports at the state and national levels. We suggest that you use the state summary to supplement other reports or information you have specific to your community.

When is the next Domestic Violence Counts?

  • The next Domestic Violence Counts will take place in September 2015. The actual date will be announced in a few months. In August, we will mail you a copy of the 2014 Domestic Violence Counts Census report, the new survey packet, and other information. We will also email the survey packet and other information to our census listserv. To join our mailing list or email listserv, please email us with your contact information at census[at]nnedv.org.

Can our organization be a part of this count?

  • If you are a primary purpose domestic violence program, we would love your participation.

Our state summary has a very low participation rate. Can I still use it?

  • Yes. Some programs were unable to participate in this year's Domestic Violence Counts because of extenuating circumstances. But the report still shows the amazing work that domestic violence programs did in your state -- despite not everyone participating. We recommend that you use the state and national report as supplemental data to other reports and information you have specific to your community. We also encourage you to participate in the next Domestic Violence Counts!

We are not a primary purpose domestic violence program, but we want to be a part of this count.

  • The annual Domestic Violence Counts is not a prevalence or incident count nor does it capture all the places that a survivor of domestic violence may seek services. We understand and support the fact that to support survivors of domestic violence, it often requires a community effort, from primary purpose domestic violence agencies to law enforcement to the courts and more. Although we may not be able to count the numbers of survivors you provide support to, we hope that we’re able to include the important work that you do in the report.
  • Furthermore, the purpose of Domestic Violence Counts is to capture an unduplicated count of victims who seek services from primary purpose domestic violence programs. Because the basis of our count is an unduplicated count, we are unable to count other agencies that provide important services for victims of domestic violence since that may result in a duplicated count. For example, it’s likely that a victim will go to a primary purpose domestic violence program for services and also the police station and hospital on the same day.

Return to main Domestic Violence Counts Census reports: http://nnedv.org/census

 Print 

 

Domestic Violence Counts: National Census of Domestic Violence Services (Census)

Methodology

The Domestic Violence Counts survey provides a point-in-time, noninvasive, unduplicated record of individuals who access domestic violence services during a single 24-hour period. Developed in 2006 by a team of experts in the field of domestic violence, the goal of the survey is to count the number of individuals who contact domestic violence programs in search of assistance.

The “snapshot” methodology provides an unduplicated count because a victim is unlikely to access services at more than one domestic violence program during a 24-hour period. It is impossible for a victim to be sheltered in two programs at the same time, and it is unlikely that a victim will travel from one primary purpose domestic violence program to another in the same day. Programs are often located far apart and serve wide geographic areas.

The Domestic Violence Counts survey is noninvasive and takes into account the dangerous nature of domestic violence and the need to prioritize victim safety and confidentiality. The report is an aggregate nationwide (and statewide) count of victims who seek services and an aggregate count of services programs provide.

Understanding the Data

Does this mean that the number of people served on Census Day were victims of domestic violence on the day of count?

  • No. Because we survey only domestic violence programs, the survey doesn’t count how many people were victims of domestic violence on the designated day. It records how many people sought services from domestic violence programs on Census Day. We don’t know, definitively, how many victims of domestic violence there are on any given day because not all victims seek services immediately after experiencing abuse.

Can we extrapolate and project what the numbers served would be if 100% of local programs participated in the Census count?

  • No. With a response rate less than 100%, it is not possible to extrapolate since the percentage of programs that did not participate may have been the smallest, least staffed programs, or they could be extremely large and overly busy programs. Extrapolating the current data to project or estimate a total number of victims seeking services on this day would likely produce an inaccurate total count. Any attempt at extrapolation or projection would require a much closer analysis of nonparticipating programs than this study intends or attempts to make.

This count was only on one day. Can I multiply it by 365 and get an average estimate of the number of victims who sought services in a year?

  • No. The Domestic Violence Counts report provides an unduplicated count of victims who seek services in just one day. Throughout the year, some victims might only use services once a year, while others may access support many times over the course of a year. In addition, most programs experience days when many victims seek services and some days when few victims seek services. Thus multiplying the 1-day total by 365 to create an annual number would be inaccurate.

Why can’t you just do an annual unduplicated count?

  • Getting an annual unduplicated annual count is impossible because you’d have to make sure you’re not counting the same person twice. In order to do so, domestic violence programs would need to collect in-depth personally identifying information about victims and share that information with other domestic violence programs. This disclosure would be a violation of federal law and many state laws. In addition, victims of domestic violence often suffer from abusers who believe it is their right to control and monitor them. Because we respect survivors’ privacy, confidentiality, safety, and dignity, we will not do so.

Return to main Domestic Violence Counts Census reports: http://nnedv.org/census

 Print 

In just one day, September 15, 2009, 65,321 victims of domestic violence were served by domestic violence programs across the United States. On that day, local domestic violence programs answered more than 23,000 hotline calls. Unfortunately, on the same day, more than 9,000 requests for services were unmet due to inadequate funding or staff available to assist these victims.

Read more...

 Print 

On a single day in September 2008, 60,799 victims of domestic violence were served by domestic violence programs across the country.  In addition, domestic violence programs answered more than 21,000 hotline calls.  Unfortunately, on the same day, almost 9,000 requests for services were unmet due to inadequate funding or staff available to assist these victims.

Read more...