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Massachusetts High Risk for Domestic Violence Re-assault and Homicide Prevention


  • States need ways to evaluate performance of domestic violence response teams.
  • Abt studied ways to enhance program performance measurement and evaluations.
  • The results informed a performance measurement/process evaluation plan.
The Challenge

The goal of domestic violence high risk response teams (DVHRTs) is to reduce domestic violence homicide and severe multiple assaults. But little is known about how to measure and evaluate the performance of these programs.

The Approach

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) funded Abt research on DVHRTs. Abt provided guidance on awarding grant funds to enhance DV high-risk responses and performance measurement and evaluation of these programs. This research examined variations in service delivery by DVHRTs in 100 communities. Abt conducted key informant interviews with 14 DVHRTs, seven immigrant and refugee victim service agencies and two LGBTQ-focused DV agencies. The interviews addressed topics such as lethality assessment utilization, decision-making criteria and interagency collaboration strategies. Researchers generated themes and subthemes that emerged from the data, then mapped this information to EOPSS’s areas of interest.

The Results

The results of the study informed a performance measurement/process evaluation plan for EOPSS to use in collecting data on and evaluating the activities supported by a state grant opportunity.