What Can Communities do to Prevent Domestic Violence?

Expand education and awareness efforts to increase positive attitudes toward nonviolence and encourage individuals to report family violence.

Form or task forces to assess the problem, develop an action plan, and monitor progress.

Mandate training in domestic violence for all social services and criminal justice professionals.

Advocate laws and judicial procedures at the state and local levels that support and protect battered women.

Establish centers where visits between batterers and their children may be supervised, for the children’s safety. Fund shelters adequately.

Recruit and train volunteers to staff hotlines, accompany victims to court, and provide administrative support to shelters and victim services.

Improve collection of child support.

Establish medical protocols to help physicians and other health care personnel identify and help victims of domestic abuse.

Provide legal representation for victims of domestic violence.

Advocate for the accessibility of services for all population groups, especially underserved populations which include immigrants and refugees, gays and lesbians, racial and ethnic minorities and the disabled.

Adapted from: “Preventing Violence Against Women: Not Just A Women’s Issue,” the National Crime Prevention Council, 1995.

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