Benefits of coordinated community response

The benefits of coordination are many, but the primary benefit should be increased victim safety. Other benefits may include:

  • More effective use of limited financial resources;
  • Coherent, integrated, long-term policy directions;
  • Better knowledge transfer across sectors;
  • Linked trainings to enhance inter-disciplinary coordination; and
  • Greater attention to neglected and under-resourced issues through community response.

(See: What a Waste: The Case for an Integrated Violence Against Women Strategy, Ch. 9, Women’s National Commission)

CASE STUDY – Hennepin County, USA

In the US state of Minnesota, the county that is home to the state’s largest city made a decision to create a one-stop center where women could access a variety of critical services in one location. The Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) is designed to specifically implement the provisions of the state’s domestic abuse legislation. Under Minnesota Statute Ch. 518B, victims of domestic violence may ask for an Order for Protection from the Family Court. A victim is not required to report the violence to the police before asking for an Order for Protection and there is no fee to file the request. At the DASC woman can get help from staff who will educate them about their rights, help them fill out forms, and assist them with filing their request for a protective order. In the same location, women can also meet with a prosecutor, with a probation officer, and with trained staff who can assist them with information about eligibility for support, including cash, health care, food support and other emergency assistance. Staff at DASC can also refer women to local NGOs who can provide them with more tailored support.