Investigate Local Conditions

Where do we go to find facts about domestic violence in our community? 

One way to build a strong case for taking action to stop domestic violence is to draw attention to the incidence of violence in the local community. Because people tend to overlook or deny that domestic violence happens in their neighborhood, their family or their community, it may take a compelling story or statement about local statistics to convince residents that the issue does affect them and, consequently, that their involvement is necessary to stop the violence. Reporting facts about the extent of domestic violence and dating violence that occurs in one's own city, town or county helps bring the issue closer to home.

How can we make sure our work is inclusive?

It is important to be sure that the views and concerns of all the diverse groups that make up the local community are included in the CAT's work--and especially in surveys and opinion polls that attempt to capture the community's needs, perspectives and responsiveness. There are several ways to plan for inclusiveness:

  • The wording of survey questions can be modified to inquire specifically about the concerns and views of a specific underserved group within the community.
  • Respondents can be asked to provide demographic information about themselves so that survey responses can be compared for different subgroups within the community. 
  • Decisions about where, when and how to conduct surveys may need to be altered to be sure that the voices and concerns of members of diverse community groups are reflected in the survey results. 
  • The CAT may choose to partner with other organizations in the community who can facilitate access to underserved community groups to make sure their voices are heard. (See also the next module in this toolkit--"Gain Support from Allies and Community Leaders.") 

Included in this module are Tips & Tools for gathering information about the incidence of domestic violence from public records and official sources within the local community and for using these statistics and survey data to advance the campaign's goals. Survey tools for gauging community members' knowledge and concern about domestic violence and their readiness to take one or more action steps are also included.