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Coordinated community response leads to positive outcomes

Communities that have implemented coordinated response programmes describe a variety of positive outcomes including:

  • increased coordination and communication,
  • increased arrest rates,
  • increased use of “real” penalties such as jail or probation,
  • increased prosecution rates, reduction of dismissed charges,
  • victim follow-through on prosecutions,
  • increased prosecution rates, and
  • increased victim satisfaction (Holder, 2001).

For example, a coordinated community response programme in the New Zealand city of Hamilton received very positive evaluations:

  • the arrest rate in domestic violence incidents increased by two-thirds, though compliance with protocols was often low and required persistent monitoring;
  • prosecutions generally were successful;
  • sentencing of convicted offenders was consistent;
  • perpetrators who completed the men’s programme were positive about it, despite initial resistance, and referrals to the programme increased by 83% in the second year, including self-referrals; and
  • victims of domestic violence and their children were well-supported,
  • victims’ safety was enhanced; and
  • women were very satisfied with the intervention (Stewart, 2005; Robertson and Busch, 1993; Shepard and Pence, 1999).