CVS's work includes:

  • Serving Survivors with Disabilities and Deaf Survivors Disability organizations often lack the resources needed to safely respond to domestic and sexual violence; victim services are often unable to address the access needs of people with disabilities. CVS’s Accessing Safety Initiative promotes collaborations between disability and victim service organizations and enhances organizational capacity to serve Deaf survivors and survivors with disabilities.
  • Addressing Domestic Violence in Supervised Visitation Programs for Families During custody proceedings, batterers often use access to children to continue to batter, control, stalk, and intimidate their victims. Providers of supervised visitation and safe exchange services need to understand the dynamics of battering and be equipped to intervene appropriately. CVS’s Supervised Visitation Initiative is helping the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women enhance its supports for supervised visitation programs in ways that ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and their children.
  • Responding to sexual assault in a correctional facility requires great skill, coordination, and sensitivity, as well as an understanding of the unique challenges presented by a confined setting. In its 2009 national standards and final report, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission called on correctional facilities to develop a sexual assault response protocol based on the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2004 National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, Adults/Adolescents. CVS’s Sexual Assault Forensic Protocol Project is working with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to develop a guide for prisons, jails, residential community corrections, and lockups for adapting the national protocol to these environments.
  • Moving Toward Accessible and Responsive Services to Serve Survivors with Disabilities CVS is developing performance indicators for disability and domestic violence organizations, as well as rape crisis centers, to measure progress towards improving services for people with disabilities and Deaf individuals who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. CVS's Evaluating Organizational Capacity to Serve Survivors with Disabilities Project will pilot the indicator systems that have been developed in ten communities across the country. Based on feedback from the communities, CVS staff will finalize the measurement system and accompanying implementation guide and will disseminate them to victim services and disability organizations nationwide.

Why We Do This Work

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are serious public health issues that affect millions of women, children, and men in the United States.

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 59 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.2
  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have been sexually abused before the age of 18.3
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 19 men have been stalked in their lifetime.4

As more is learned about these forms of violence and successful interventions, criminal justice and social service delivery systems must adapt to respond to the changing nature of violence and abuse. They must also become increasingly sensitive to those who are affected and adopt practices that can best meet their needs and, ultimately, end violence altogether. The Center on Victimization and Safety combines research, planning, and technical assistance to facilitate this process.

1,2,4 Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Basile, K.C., Walters, M.L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M.T. (2014). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner victimization—national intimate partner and sexual violence survey, United States, 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3 Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I.A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics and risk factors. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, 19-28.