Presentation on theme: "2013 PCCD Victim Services Needs Assessment Crime Victim Needs: Insights from Research Institute of State and Regional Affairs Penn State Harrisburg."— Presentation transcript:
2013 PCCD Victim Services Needs Assessment Crime Victim Needs: Insights from Research Institute of State and Regional Affairs Penn State Harrisburg
Key Findings 5 Main areas will be reviewed : Profile of Crime Victims Service Barriers Underserved Populations Service Provision Best Practices/Usefulness of Services
Profile of Crime Victims Demographics: Males have a higher rate of violent victimization Violent crimes are more often committed by known offenders Females experience more acts of victimization by known offenders Those who identified as two or more races experienced higher rates of violent victimization Younger individuals(age 18-24) are increasingly becoming victimized Urban residents experience higher rates of victimization than suburban or rural residents Married or widowed individuals have lower rates of victimization (Harrell, 2012b; Rennison, 2002; Truman, 2011; Truman & Planty, 2012; Truman & Rand, 2010)
Profile Of Crime Victims Help-Seeking Profile: Major factors that influence the rate/kind of help a victim will seek: Type of victimization Characteristics of the victim Victim-perpetrator relationship Characteristics of the incident (McCart et al., 2010; Sabina, Cuevas, & Schally, 2012; Starzynski, Ullman, Townsend, Long, & Long, 2007; Ullman & Filipas, 2001) About 46% of violently victimized individuals report the crime to police. (McCart, Smith, & Sawyer, 2010). Victims that seek mental health services range from 12-16%. (McCart, Smith, & Sawyer, 2010). Crimes that involve a weapon and incidents where there is an injury are more likely to be reported. (Langton & Berzofsky, 2012).
Service Barriers Barriers to help seeking are varied but share commonalities: Shame and embarrassment Not believing that services can or will help Lack of awareness about services Victim service providers need to be aware of and responsive to the multi-dimensional needs of victims and work to address barriers.
Underserved Victim Populations VSOs are expected to assist all victims. Unfortunately many of these populations face numerous barriers to services and remain underserved. Agencies need to abandon one size fits all approach to serving victims. Emphasis on education, outreach, targeted and culturally competent services, and inter-agency collaboration can help serve these populations.
Underserved Victim Populations Male crime victims Often assumed to be the offender Lack of gender-inclusive services Reluctant to seek help due shame, embarrassment or denial (Douglas & Hines, 2011; Tsui, Cheung, & Leung, 2010) Disabled crime victims More vulnerable due to dependency on others Cognitive disabilities may prevent communication Fear of being sent to a nursing facility Lack specialized programs and services (Chang et al., 2003; Petersilia, 2001; Saxton et al., 2001) Older crime victims (55+ years) Cultural and generational differences about the gender roles of marriage Fear of being sent to a nursing facility Inadequate programs that do not take special needs of older victims into consideration (Beaulaurier, Seff, Newman, & Dunlop, 2007; Zink & Fisher, 2007)
Underserved Victim Populations Minorities/immigrant crime victims Reliance on family and importance of privacy Fear of deportation Lack of specialized services that take cultural considerations into account (Fierros & Smith, 2006; Murdaugh, Hunt, Sowell, & Santana, 2004; Cho, 2012; Sue & Sue, 1999) LGBTQ crime victims Needing to disclose sexual orientation hinders help-seeking Most services are oriented toward heterosexuals Lack of knowledge about same-sex abuse (Girshick, 2002; Merrill & Wolfe, 2000; Bornstein et al., 2006) Younger crime victims (teens/young adults) May prefer to seek help from peers instead of formal services Confidentiality and other legal barriers may prove to be issues (Ashley & Foshee, 2005; Martin et al., 2012; Sousa, 1999; Whitman, 2007)
Service Provision Organizational Barriers: Offender focus of the criminal justice system Improving access for victims Training victims' services staff and volunteers Coordinating services between organizations Increasing awareness of services available Overcoming stigma
Usefulness of Services Crucial services for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors include: hotlines, shelter services, counseling, support groups, and advocacy services. Coordination between organizations dealing with similar issues (i.e. VSOs, social service, community agencies, etc.) can greatly improve the quality of assistance and expand services available to victims. The Domestic Violence Evidence Project (www.dvevidenceproject.org) has identified several innovative, evidence-based programs to assist victims of domestic violence and their families.www.dvevidenceproject.org
Conclusions Groups that may benefit from further targeted outreach include: Males Younger individuals Those living in urban settings Victims of rape VSOs must work toward inclusion throughout service delivery in order to provide services to all victim groups. Barriers for VSOs to overcome: Associations with criminal justice system Funding Coordination of services Training needs Victim engagement Overcoming these shortcomings and barriers starts at the organizational level, within VSOs themselves.
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