Groundbreaking Virginia Report Looks at Family Violence Statewide

Jun 17, 2010, 10:31 ET from Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia (FACT) has released a groundbreaking report measuring the prevalence and interrelatedness of violence in families, ranging from infants to the elderly, and how often the incidences occur by locality in Virginia.

Using eighteen social indicators, Violence At Home: The FACT Report is the first of its kind to provide cities and counties with a statistical assessment of the extent and impact of violence within the family structures of their residents.  

"We know that every person, regardless of age and circumstance, has a right to be safe in their own home; however, prior to the FACT Report, we were only able to guess at how well we were doing as a Commonwealth to protect people," said FACT Board Chair David Boehm.

Family violence encompasses the abuse terms with which the public is generally familiar: child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. "We tend to think of these as very separate categories, but a violent household can be fraught with more than one type of abuse or neglect," explained Fran Inge, FACT executive director. "For instance, we know that 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household."  

This interrelatedness underscores one of the elements that make the FACT Report especially valuable for policymakers and service providers. "For the first time ever, all of the information is in one place. From what we can tell, this is the only report of its kind in the nation," said Inge.

Drawing on data collected over five years, the report's findings are based on 18 social indicators, such as the percentage of people living below the poverty line or statistics on arrests of juveniles for violent sexual offences committed against a family member.

The report gives localities an unprecedented opportunity to determine whether their current services and organizations are meeting the needs of the community. According to FACT Board Chair David Boehm, Violence At Home: The FACT Report is intended to inform and encourage. "We need to strengthen existing efforts, and there are many. Lawmakers and organizations support the idea of collaboration, but there hasn't been a single source of information that distinguishes where efforts are most needed. These are folks who are expected to make tough decisions about allocating resources. Better informed decisions begin with better information."

Contact: Marianne McGhee


SOURCE Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia