Rapid Response to Battered Women Studied

The Attrition Study for Battered Women, under the direction of Dr. Jane Geller, family violence consultant to JBFCS, is now examining the differential effects of providing daily support from trained volunteers to battered women waiting for more intensive services. Recognizing that women in crisis require immediate services, the JBFCS Center for Prevention of Family Violence is examing the extent to which hotline services can respond to this need. Women who have to wait for treatment often drop out before treatment can begin. In the Attrition study, being conducted at eight JBFCS sites in Brookly and Staten Island, women who call for services are randomly assigned to the experimental condition, in which potential patients are contacted by phone on a regular basis until they can be seen for treatment. The extent to which this added support assists women to enter treatment can them be assessed.

The JBFCS Battered Women's Hotline, in conjunction with which the study is being conducted, opened on December 3, 1990. Thirteen volunteers have been trained to answer the hotline, provide immediate support, and follow the research protocol. The hotline received 120 calls through the middle of February, and 34 cases have so far been assigned to the experimental group.