FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor’s Press Office
Loyola University Chicago and The Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence
CHICAGO, March 20, 2006 Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) announced the results of its two-year evaluation on the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence (MODV) Help Line today at a forum held on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus.
The study titled, “From the Perspective of Diverse Users: An Evaluation of the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line,” was commissioned by MODV and examined user’s perceptions of the Help Line, while assessing the effectiveness of operations in meeting the needs of diverse victims of domestic violence.
“I want to thank the National Institute of Justice for funding this evaluation,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “By providing effective resources to those residents in our City who need it the most, we are one step closer to our goal of ending domestic violence.”
“It is important for our office to understand how effective the Help Line has been and ways in which we might improve access to diverse populations of victims in need of information and assistance if we truly hope to end domestic violence,” said Leslie Landis, executive director, Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence.
After reviewing a broad range of key Help Line users, CURL found that frequent users, including domestic violence victims, service providers, police officers and community residents, gave a very positive assessment of the Help Line. Victims consistently rated the overall usefulness of the Help Line highly, with 92% saying they would refer someone else to the resource.
Other key results from the study include:
* Help Line coordination improved access to services for victims – Three-quarters of the police officers and 83% of the providers who had worked with domestic violence victims prior to the inception of the Help Line found it easier to give a referral to a domestic violence victim now than before Help Line.
* Help Line increased victims’ knowledge and helped them strategize and take action – Two-thirds of the victims reported increased knowledge and awareness, which included strategizing about how to take action and be safer and nearly 40% reported taking immediate action to address their situation.
* Information on the Help Line is readily available – Eighty-two percent of community residents at DAC meetings reported seeing leaflets and billboards on domestic violence displayed and nearly three-quarters were aware of where to go to receive domestic violence services.
* Challenges still remain on the horizon – Not unexpectedly, several challenges were identified in the domestic violence service provision system beyond the functions of the Help Line. Key challenges include: 1) when a domestic violence service exists, but cannot always meet demand; 2) when a service offered doesn’t fit the particular needs of the victim; 3) when no services are available.
“Domestic violence has been and continues to be a growing problem in today’s society,” said Christine George, senior research fellow, CURL. “Those being battered and abused need a place to turn to when they are in need of help, and fortunately this study found that Chicago’s Domestic Violence Help Line is providing these victims with an effective method that links them with local services that can help.”
Mayor Richard M. Daley created his Office on Domestic Violence in 1997 to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive community response to domestic violence. In 1998, MODV launched the Domestic Violence Help Line, a 24-hour toll free, confidential, multi-lingual telephone service that operates as a clearinghouse to domestic violence services in Chicago. For more information on the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence, call (312) 747-9972 or visit www.cityofchicago.org/domesticviolence. For the Help Line, call 1-877-863-6338, TTY 1-877-863-6339.
About Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research and Learning
Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research and Learning is a non-traditional university research center. CURL promotes an innovative model of teaching and learning that reaches beyond Loyola’s campuses and classrooms to develop equal partnerships between the university and city or suburban communities. CURL is guided by a mission that places strong emphasis on research that addresses community needs and involves the community at all levels of research. By working closely with community leaders outside the university, the Center combines the knowledge and experience of both university researchers and individuals or organizations in non-academic settings. This produces stronger research outcomes that are highly effective in addressing current and emerging community needs.
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 14,000 students, which includes 9,000 undergraduates, hailing from all 50 states, as well as 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses, three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include: arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies and social work. Loyola offers 66 undergraduate majors, 59 master’s degrees, 36 doctoral degrees and three professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities” and “best values” in its annual publications. For more information, please visit our web site at www.luc.edu.