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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4275.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - Board 4

Abstract #117594

Domestic Violence Data: Gap in Public Health Systems

Sonia Jain, MPH, Community Assessment Planning and Education Unit, Alameda County Public Health Department, 1000 Broadway, Fifth Floor, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-267-8099, sojain@hsph.harvard.edu and Quamrun Eldridge, MD, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Unit, Alameda County Public Health Department, 1000 Broadway, Fifth Floor, Oakland, CA 94607.

Domestic violence is a major public health problem and a debilitating crime that disproportionately impacts the lives of women, children and families across communities. Despite its magnitude and high personal and societal costs, a lack of systematic data collection at the public health infrastructure level limits DV prevention and policy at the local level.

This presentation will describe the participatory process of developing the first family violence report for Alameda County, one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse regions in the US, as an example of coordinating systematic DV data collection for prevention. The County Maternal Child Health Unit - in partnership with Domestic Violence Collaborative - gathered local data from the hospitals, shelters, legal services and police department. Select indicators were used based on their availability, accuracy and completeness, e.g. arrests, calls to police, deaths, number served at shelters. DV deaths, evaluated by the DV Death Review Team, provided restricted information for prevention. Disparities by gender, race and neighborhoods were identified.

Challenges and lessons learned will be discussed. For example, MCH staff observed DV while working in their programs, including teen pregnancy, adolescent sexual health, substance abuse, and child abuse and neglect - yet it is not systematically tracked. Integration of DV within MCH will be explored. Other issues include underreporting of DV, small numbers analysis, engaging community, using data for prevention (not just service delivery), when to consider DV an epidemic given the range of indicators and lack of national objectives, and capturing DV in ethnically-diverse communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning Objectives

    Keywords: Data/Surveillance, Domestic Violence

    Related Web page: www.acphd.org/user/data/datareports.asp

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

    Violence Prevention in Families and Community/And Graduate Education Papers

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA