The Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA) will assist the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) research team in the evaluation of the Institute for Coordinated Community Response’s rural programs and implementation of coordinated community response (CCR) in several rural counties. IDVSA will have a prominent role in the planning, design, data collection, and analysis of interview and survey data and will contribute to final technical reports.

While CCRs, especially in rural counties with limited resources, are well positioned to prevent violence, stall revictimization, hold offenders accountable, and improve public safety, research on their uptake and overall impact is lacking. Prior research has demonstrated that CCRs can be effective, but much of what is known is limited to how individuals are affected directly – less is known about whether and how CCRs influence sustainable change at the agency or county level. To address this gap in knowledge and to help ensure the sustained success of the CCRs, this evaluation will assess the impact of the educational and training effort of the ICCR yearlong program and the impact of the implementation of a CCR on individuals, collaborators, and the greater community.

IDVSA and their partners at UTMB will assess the impact of CCRs on victim safety, offender accountability, available resources, and community collaboration. CCRS across 36 rural Texas counties will be evaluated using a mixed-method design. A mixed methods approach is ideal for gaining a fuller understanding of how agencies and communities respond to domestic violence, while considering the diversity across Texas counties. IDVSA will meet with UTMB and ICCR staff, collaborate on data collection protocols and recruitment plans, conduct interviews and focus groups, and analyze the data that results from interviews and focus groups. IDVSA will contribute to final products and any additional required reports or products.

This study will enhance the field of CCRs by identifying emerging best practices for curriculum delivery, providing recommendations for improvements based on evaluation data, establishing and testing a feedback loop within and between CCRs, and tracking community-level changes in the response to DV.