An Aftercare Program For Female Survivors Of Domestic Abuse: A

Dianne Adiezatu Obakhume
California State University, Long Beach
School of Social Work
May 2013
Domestic violence (DV), also referred to as domestic abuse or intimate partner
violence (IPV) is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by
one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner
(U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women [OVW], 2012).
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC; 2006), domestic abuse is a
serious and preventable health problem that affects millions of Americans,
particularly women, and has become a growing epidemic in the United States.
Approximately 7 million women in the United States alone are abused yearly by
someone they personally know, such as a spouse, partner, or ex-partner (CDC,
2011). About 1 in 4 women (24. 3%) in the United States have been affected, and
are victims of severe physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner.
Prevalence and Risk Factors
It is difficult to establish precise numbers of women who experience domestic abuse
due to underreporting, but it is estimated that about one in every three women
worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused (Crawford, Liebling-Kalifani,
& Hill, 2009; WHO, 2011).
Risk factors which can contribute to the incidence of domestic abuse include
witnessing parental violence, harmful use of alcohol and drugs, and a history of sexual
abuse in childhood and adolescence (WHO, 2011).
Other factors such as poverty, lack of education, and low socioeconomic status have
also been considered to be major contributors to domestic abuse (WHO, 2011).
There are certain limitations in the services that domestic abuse victims receive after
they exit the shelter environment; such as access to counseling services and case
management (Bennett, Riger, Schewe, Howard, & Wasco, 2004). According to Cole,
Logan, & Shannon (2008), higher levels of social support are associated with a lower
likelihood of re-victimization, and a social support system seems to predict a better
outcome in terms of establishing healthier relationships.
In order to address some of these issues and to promote self-sufficiency, CareLinks was
developed to provide aftercare services to women who are exiting from a shelter.
Multi Cultural and Social Work Relevance
Domestic violence impacts women of all ethnic backgrounds and social economic
status, therefore, social workers need to be culturally competent about domestic
abuse and its effects on their clients (Kanno & Newhill, 2009).
Domestic abuse directly impacts the field of social work because many of the client
population have been or are being affected by domestic abuse, and social workers as
advocates need to be aware of its impact on families, children, and the society at
Studies have shown that incidences of domestic abuse are higher amongst the poor
and uneducated, and also amongst women of color (Hill, Mossakowski, & Angel,
2007), and this population constitutes the bulk of social work clients (Agazie,
Social workers believe in social change, and one way of accomplishing change is to
work together with clients in eliminating this form of oppression.
Target Population
The target population identified for this proposed program are abused women living in the city
of San Diego who have recently completed a domestic violence shelter program, and are
exiting out of a shelter into independent living.
Strategies Used to Identify a Funding Source
The California State University Long Beach library database was utilized in conducting this
search. Research was also conducted using resources at the Foundation Center to locate
potential funders. Additionally, a search was conducted on the Office on Violence Against
Women (OVW) website, which provides federal grants for programs supporting victims of
domestic violence. And the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership in order to access their
database collection that provides a list of funders and grants based on grant needs.
Identify Funding Source Selected
The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating
Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault Programs was selected as the funding source for the
program ( This federal grant is offered by the Office on Violence
Against Women (OVW). The OVW's four priority areas include: 1) preventing violence
against women; 2) addressing sexual assault; 3) extending programs to underserved
communities; and 4) restoring and protecting the economic security of victims of violence.
Sources Used for the Needs Assessment
Data will be collected from the CDC's National Intimate Partner Violence Survey (CDC, 2011) to
examine reports of challenges that domestic abuse victims’ face regarding history of victimization,
and what interventions were successful for them. Focus groups will also be conducted with survivors
who have transitioned successfully, to validate the necessity of this aftercare program.
Projected Budget Range and Categories
The budget for this program has been calculated to be $158,679. This budget is based upon the cost
of staffing, direct and indirect costs which will operate for the one-year funding period. The staffing
will consist of a part-time program director, a full-time coordinator, and two part-time master of
social work interns.
Program Director: The position requires a part-time bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
who will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of this program, including administration, staff
supervision, and the successful operation of this program.
Program Coordinator: This is a full-time position to be held by a master's degree level social worker
(MSW) who will be responsible for providing individual counseling and facilitating the support
Social Work interns: These two positions are to be held by two master's degree level social work interns
(MSW). These are per diem positions at 20 hours per week to provide case management, assist
clients with using resources, and networking with other agencies to raise awareness of the program.
Grant Proposal
Program Summary and Population Served
 The CareLinks program will be a 12-week program that will run for a 12-month period.
This program will provide case management for housing and job assistance, individual
counseling, and facilitate support groups for abused women 18 years of age and older
who are exiting from a domestic violence shelter.
 The goal of CareLinks is to empower 100 abused women over the course of one year by
assisting them in gaining economic self-sufficiency, and promoting independent skills.
This 12-week program aims to equip women with knowledge and skills that would enable
them to reject abusive relationships, and to avoid re-victimization.
 For the purpose of this project, the CareLinks program will be fully funded by the Office
on Violence Against Women (OVW), and it will be hosted by the YWCA of San Diego
County. The OVW offers federal grants to innovative programs addressing domestic
violence against women. The YWCA is a nonprofit organization that provides services to
victims of domestic abuse that includes safe housing, counseling, legal assistance,
employment support, financial literacy training, and supportive children’s programs to
over 5,700 individuals annually in San Diego County.
Grant Proposal
Program Objectives
The overall goal of this program is to provide an effective follow-up service that focuses on enabling
female victims of domestic abuse leave the cycle of violence by gaining independence in order to
avoid the reoccurrence of abuse in their lives. To provide case management for housing and job
assistance in order to increase economic self-sufficiency. To provide individual counseling in order
to reduce the psychological effects associated with victimization of domestic abuse. Finally, to offer
emotional support by facilitating personal empowerment support groups.
Program Evaluation
This program will be evaluated for effectiveness by using a pretest and posttest assessment. A pretest
survey will be administered during the initial assessment of admission into CareLinks. Upon
completion of the 12 week session, a posttest survey will be administered again with the same
questions. At the conclusion of CareLinks, the overarching expectation is that after receiving
counseling, case management, and participating in the support groups, 85% of the women will see an
increase in their self-esteem, a decrease in their depression, obtain employment and secure housing,
and learn how to engage in safe and healthy relationships. Follow-up phone calls will also be made 6
months and 1 year after the end of the program to participants who have successfully completed the
program. The caller will evaluate the efficacy of this program by observing the outcomes whether
they have more stable lives through the help of the aftercare program.
Lessons Learned/Implications for Social
Lessons Learned
 Grant Writing
 Identification of Need
 Selection of Potential Funding Source
Implications for Social Work
 This process of writing this grant demonstrates the need for social workers to be
knowledgeable about funding and the grant writing process, as many social workers are
employed in non-profit agencies, and often require funding from different sources. The
knowledge acquired through the process of this grant writing is a vital tool in working
with, and seeking services for diverse populations, including for women and domestic
abuse survivors.
 Studies have shown that incidences of domestic abuse are higher amongst the poor and
uneducated, and also amongst women of color, and these populations constitute the
bulk of social work clients (Agazie, 2011; Hill et al., 2007). Therefore, it is imperative
that social workers be attentive and culturally competent about the effects of domestic
abuse in the lives of their clients.
Agazie, M. (2011). Cultural Considerations Impacting Domestic Violence Among African American Women: Implications
for Social Work. Conflict Resolution & Negotiation, 1, 138-141.
Bennett, L., Riger, S., Schewe, P., Howard, A., & Wasco, S. (2004). Effectiveness of hotline, advocacy, counseling, and
shelter services for victims of domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19 (7), 815-829.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Measuring Intimate Partner Violence Victimization and Perpetration: A
Compendium of Assessment Tools. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS):
2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and
Cole, J., Logan, T., & Shannon, L. (2008). Women’s risk for revictimization by a new abusive partner: For what should we
be looking? Violence & Victims, 23 (3), 315-330.
Crawford, E., Liebling-Kalifani, H., & Hill, V. (2009). Women's Understanding of the Effects of Domestic Abuse: The
Impact on Their Identity, Sense of Self and Resilience. A Grounded Theory Approach. Journal of International Women's
Studies, 11(2), 63-82.
Hill, T., Mossakowski, K., & Angel, R. (2007). Relationship violence and psychological distress among low-income urban
women. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 84, 537-551.
Kanno, H., & Newhill, C. E. (2009). Social Workers and Battered Women: The Need to Study Client Violence in the
Domestic Violence Field. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 18, 46-63.
U. S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against women (2012). Domestic violence [online]. [Cited 2012 Dec 4].
Available from
World Health Organization (2011). Violence against Women Fact Sheet. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from

similar documents