Introduction

In this final installment for the Social Equity Data Analysis series, we explore the contributions to data analysis and assessment made by social justice organizations. To narrow the scope for this discussion, we focus on social justice organizations in a specific movement. The movement to end domestic violence and the organizations that comprise the movement offer important insights.

These organizations have guided shifts throughout society around domestic violence in direct proportion to the strategies of their movement. At the end of this article, we display samples of data analysis and assessment tools from the movement. Most important in this example of data analysis and assessment is that the movement to end domestic violence shows us the vital pairing of programs and campaigns with actions to resolve social biases that intersect with the mission of the movement.

Why domestic violence as the example?

Parallels exist between the needs in community organizations and schools and the movement to end domestic violence. The health of our communities, the need for diverse and effective strategies, the continual lack of funding, and so on are challenges faced by community organizations and schools. These challenges have been contended with by the talent and strength of the movement to end domestic violence.

While there is clear evidence for the need to end domestic violence, there are still those who oppose it as a nonessential issue for a healthy community. Specialists working to end domestic violence continue to be required, more so than others, to make the case that the crime of domestic violence is a worthy cause for financial support (i.e. thousands of survivors each day are turned away from services due to shortages), attention, and prevention. This push-back has made these specialists skilled in data analysis and effectiveness assessment both in terms of programming and campaigns. These specialists use data analysis and assessment to guide their strategies and communicate with stakeholders.

The movement to end domestic violence has resulted in effective programs and campaigns with many successes in the last five decades. Effective programs in this example meet immediate and long-term needs of domestic violence survivors, the children, and perpetrators. Effective campaigns refer to strategic media and outreach activities that inform thinking and behavior throughout the society.

The impact of effective programs, outreach, and media campaigns includes new laws, the implementation of current laws, stories openly shared by celebrities, and coverage by central media outlets. A great victory with this example is that today, domestic violence assaults are down by about 50% since the 1990s.

How is this example related to social equity for this blog series?

The difficulty in passing and implementing laws on domestic violence speaks to two biases in our society: 1.) In the recent past, assaults against women have been legal and acceptable social behavior (e.g. domestic violence and sexual assault), and 2.) Violence in private residences is overlooked as real crime.

Today, the high rates of domestic violence illustrate the ongoing strength of these biases.

  • For example, at least 1 in 4 women are survivors of domestic violence assaults.
  • Everyday, 3 women are murdered by their intimate partners.
  • As a society, we still have ideas about the culpability of the victimized persons; 1 in 10 women in the U.S. report that there is justification for such violence.

The biases are anchored in a “naturalizing” of violence in private spaces. We’ve even seen elected official who termed domestic violence legislation the “take the fun out of marriage act.” Programs and campaigns from the movement to end domestic violence engage both of the biases. For example, an early emphasis was made to clarify that private violence is a public concern. A shift was forced from the social habit of “not getting involved” to recognition that domestic violence is a public health concern.

Take-aways

Like this movement to end domestic violence, community organizations and schools can counter social biases that interfere with their missions. The explicit lessons from the movement include the following.

  1. Recognize and engage the social equity issues at the root of the problem while delivering programs
  2. Track and measure impact
  3. Reflect on strategies and tactics
  4. Communicate data to stakeholders

These lessons remind us that early on, the movement recognized research as a tool for advancing the cause. Below are contemporary samples and templates from the movement to end domestic violence.

The annotations that accompany the samples indicate the usefulness for community organizations and schools. These examples can inform data analysis and assessment strategies while also mitigating the social equity issues that intersect with organizational missions. Moreover, these samples illustrate the way that even a very entrenched dysfunction of society — like domestic violence — can be unlearned and transformed.

 

 


Sample

Annotation

Organizational Type

Program Assessment SurveyThe focus is on the internal review of the program structure and processes. Survey seeks feedback from management, staff, BOD, and volunteers. See page 14.Useful tool design for diverse types of programs and services in community organizations and schools.
Consumer Feedback SurveyThe focus in on feedback from persons who utilized program or service. Survey questions demonstrate awareness of consumer base’s diversity and the importance of serving consumers appropriately. See page 25.Useful for crafting questions for social-services type programming.
Person-Centered Planning Intake AssessmentThe focus is on problem-solving with the person utilizing the service in terms of the person articulating their own desired plan.Useful tool design for organization and school programs that have a person-centered philosophy.
Outreach Campaign Assessment Indicators and Assessment Practices The focus is to assess the effectiveness of campaign structure and impact on targeted audiences. See page 266.Useful tools for organizations and schools who already include or want to include outreach in their programs.