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Domestic Violence Experiences of Female Offenders

The gathering of data on the rates and types of domestic violence, as well as the service needs of domestic violence victims, is crucial for practitioners and policy makers in their efforts to combat this social problem.

The SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division built upon previous data gathered through the development and administration of a standardized intake form called the CORE form (Compilation of Research and Evaluation) at six battered women's shelters in San Diego County and the previous Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program (ADAM).

Funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the study utilized a modified CORE form to explore the nature of domestic violence among another sample of the female population: female arrestees in the ADAM program.

The DV Addendum was administered after the ADAM interview, following ADAM protocols. Valuable descriptive information was gathered on the nature, severity, frequency, and consequences of domestic violence among a group of women that has the potential to be overlooked through other information-gathering channels.

Since the forms had already been administered to over 500 shelter clients, it was possible to compare the two samples to determine if similarities and differences existed in terms of victim need and service delivery.

In addition, because the purpose of ADAM was to identify drug use among the offender population, the data collected also addressed three issues significant to policymakers: the incidence and prevalence of domestic violence among female offenders; the nexus between drug use and violent victimization; and the most appropriate service and treatment needs of female offenders were examined.

The DV Addendum was first administered in August, 2000 at Las Colinas Detention Facility, with data collection ending May 2001. Data from the DV Addendum research was presented to NIJ in a final summary report in August 2001.

Project Manager

Dr. Cynthia Burke, Director, Research and Program Management
Phone: (619) 699-1910, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or