Dr. Delilah Dotremon, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Texas A&M International University, has conducted an Evaluation Study of the Webb County Domestic Violence Unit.
Dr. Dotremon was asked to undertake the study because the Domestic Violence Unit is mandated under its establishing grant to report on its services.
"As required the study analyzed the number of victims serviced and the types of services provided. Additionally, a demographic profile of the client and her batterer was compiled," she said.
A 9-month period was examined, from August 1997, the month the Unit was created, to the end of April 1998.
Dotremon found the Unit serviced 130 clients during the study period. Services offered included crisis counseling, follow-up services, emergency financial assistance, emergency legal advocacy, telephone and in-person contact for information and referral, justice support/advocacy, personal advocacy, and shelter/safe house services.
"It is clear that though the Domestic Violence Unit has been active for less than a year, the program is providing vital services in this community for the victims of domestic violence and their families. The Unit is effective in its intended goals of providing services to female victims of violence in Webb County," Dotremon concluded.
The study also produced a demographic profile of the client and her batterer.
"Of the 112 victims processed by the Unit, 57% identified themselves as housewives. The age of the victims ranged from 16 to 88, however over one-third were between the ages of 21-30," she said.
The ages of the batterers/defendants ranged from 19 to 73, with 51% between the ages of 19-33. The batterer/defendant was the victim's husband in 71% of the total cases. Occupation of the batterers/defendants ranged from truck driver to business owner.
"The information in the Evaluation Study will be used to improve the planning, monitoring, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Domestic Violence Unit. This is important because as awareness of the Unit grows, so will the demand for services," Dotremon added.
For more information on Dr. Dotremon's study, please contact the University's Office of Public Affairs at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.