ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

Formal Information Support Systems for Domestic Violence Victims

Lynn Westbrook

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


Formal Information Support Systems for Domestic Violence Victims

The formal information infrastructure generated by government, social service, and law enforcement agencies to meet the needs of domestic violence (DV) victims is critical to effectively delivering services to these individuals and their children. E-government and e-health initiatives provide information for the almost 5.3 million victimizations by intimate partners every year (CDC). Although Texas has made significant strides in curbing domestic violence, the state is "well above the national average" for this kind of crime (Texas Department of Health, 2004). Despite the strong growth of digital support, no substantive examination of the nature and efficacy of formal information structures used to support domestic violence victims has been conducted since the advent of the Internet. This mixed-methods study employs a phased use of both quantitative and qualitative data-gathering techniques to better understand DV information needs and resources in Texas. The first phase consists of personal visits to seven, demographically diverse cities in which pre-tested, structured interviews will be administered to victims themselves, shelter directors, and law enforcement officers. The second phase administers a web-based questionnaire to the safe-house directors, police administrators, public library reference coordinators, and hospital social service directors in each of these seven cities to determine what information resources and referrals would be made available to a DV victim who presents a low-urgency, moderate-urgency, and high-urgency request for information. Simultaneously, law enforcement and safe-house web sites will be analyzed in terms of their cyber-safety protection availability levels, alternative language access, navigational difficulty, and inclusion of non-Internet support pieces. Data analysis uses the constant comparison method of narrative data analysis to create and apply a directional set of hierarchical coding terms. Memos, an audit trail, and a code-recode rate of 90% will be employed to insure data analysis integrity (Strauss, 1987). The poster will include graphic representations of service networks, exemplars of web-based safety planning schemas, samples of distributed literature, and other vivid visual components of the data gathering and analysis work.

START Conference Manager (V2.52.6)