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Coordinated community response

  • Coordinated community response is an intervention strategy developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. This strategy, often called the "Duluth model," is a "system of networks, agreements, processes and applied principles created by the local shelter movement, criminal justice agencies, and human service programs that were developed in a small northern Minnesota city over a fifteen year period. It is still a project in the making." From:  Ellen Pence & Martha McMahon, A Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence (1999), The National Training Project, Duluth, Minnesota. Given the various health, legal, economic and social needs of dowry-related violence victims, coordinating the response across sectors will promote protection of survivors/complainants.
  • Although there is no one model that will work in every context, the model used by DAIP in Duluth is one of the most successful coordinated community response projects and has been adapted for use in communities in many different parts of the world. See: Adapting the Duluth Model, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Coordinated Community Response, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights.
  • Legislation should include provisions that require agency collaboration and communication in addressing dowry-related and domestic violence. NGO advocates who directly serve victims should have leadership roles in such collaborative efforts. When police, judicial officials, NGOs that provide direct service to victims of violence, and medical providers coordinate their efforts to protect women of dowry-related violence and hold abusers accountable, these efforts are more successful. Coordination helps to ensure that the system works faster and better for victims; that victims are protected and receive the services they need; and that abusers are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior.

(See: Council of Europe General Recommendation Rec(2002)5, para. 27 Benefits of Coordination, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; Goals and Strategies of Intervention, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Community Response Participants, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; See also: section on Implementation of Laws)

Example: Bangladesh’s Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women, a joint collaboration between the Bangladesh and Danish governments, is housed under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. As part of the program, it coordinates a one-stop crisis centre for women victims of violence in hospitals. These centres provide: victims with health care, police assistance, social services, legal assistance, counseling, shelter aid, and medico-legal examinations.
  • Many nations have provisions which mandate cooperation by state agencies.

 

Example: one of the objectives of Albania’s law is:

a. To set up a coordinated network of responsible authorities for protection, support and rehabilitation of victims, mitigation of consequences and prevention of domestic violence[.]

 

CASE STUDY: Pakistan’s Domestic Violence Bill 2009, which incorporates dowry into the definition of domestic violence (Article 4) establishes a Protection Team. The Protection Team is to be composed of a female Union Councillor, a female police officer and male officer not below the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector.  The Protection Team is in charge assisting victims of domestic violence, including entering the place where domestic violence is alleged until victim protection can be assured; assisting the victim in obtaining medical treatment, relocating to a safe place with her consent, preparing an application for a protection order, and; documenting and maintaining a record of the domestic violence incidents and applications, protection orders and service providers (Article 6). When providing for a protection team, lawmakers should ensure that the unit includes or collaborates with advocates, NGO representatives and social service providers. Laws should also promote coordination among and consultation with health care providers, child protection agencies, the media, clergy and religious leaders, employers, businesses, poverty organizations, professional associations (e.g., of doctors, lawyers), and government agencies.
  • Spain’s law states that “The female victims of gender violence are entitled to receive care, crisis, support and refuge, and integrated recovery services…Such services will act in coordination with each other and in collaboration with the Police, Violence against Women Judges, the health services, and the institutions responsible for providing victims with legal counsel, in the corresponding geographical zone.” Art. 19

Examples:

Spain: Spain’s law also provides for funding and evaluation of these coordination procedures. Article 19

India: In India, the Anna Nagar All Women Police Station establishes an NGO presence to offer services to victims. Police received an orientation, and a press release of crisis numbers in English and Tamil is sent to local newspapers. A co-coordinator available at the station provides information on NGO support services, and three crisis counselors available at the police station provide counseling. There is also a 24-hour crisis line. Police can request an NGO representative to accompany them to home calls. The coordinator and police inspector have together mapped out cases for follow-up consultation, as well as coordinate case documentation and management. The coordinator and a female police officer have conducted outreach to distribute crisis numbers to homes. (See: Prasanna Poornachandra, A Domestic Violence Coordinated Project - Going Beyond Victim Support, 2006, p. 115)