CSWR completed a statewide needs assessment of services for female victims of violence in the state of Ohio. This needs assessment involved collecting data on the availability of servces, the gaps in services to adult female victims of violent crime, the existence of services for special populations, and the existence of collaboration among service providers (specifically law enforcement, prosecutors, and victims services). Further, the project collected data on the perceived effectiveness of the criminal justice system’s response to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and homicide.

Results of the needs assessment indicate that Ohio has many strengths in assisting female victims of violence. In many communities the agencies that serve victims work together to see that sensitive treatment and an array of services are offered to victims. A substantial number of communities also have a high level of awareness of violence, and community members are supportive of prevention and intervention to end violence, including involvement in programs that serve women who have been victimized. The state of Ohio has made consistent progress in revising state statutes and developing protocols to address the major forms of violence against women.

Nonetheless, many counties still face substantial barriers in serving women victimized by violence. As a result of this needs assessment, ten major areas for improvement were identified, which included 48 specific recommendations to better serve female victims of violence in the state of Ohio.

Victim Rights Advocacy, Inc., Oxford, Ohio