Michigan Violence Against Women Survey
Between April and July, 1996, the Violence Prevention Section in conjunction with the Gallup Organization conducted a telephone survey of Michigan women aged 18-69 on violence in their lives as perpetrated by men. The survey was conducted to improve the state's knowledge base regarding the prevalence and characteristics of this type of violence. Women were asked if they had ever experienced physical or sexual violence or had been threatened by the following types of men: stangers, boyfriends/dates, other acquaintances, current intimate partners (husbands and live-in partners), and ex-partners. A total of 1,848 women completed the survey. Responses were weighted to represent the Michigan population of women aged 18-69.
The report 'Violence in the Lives of Michigan Women' discusses the findings of the survey. In addition, a public use dataset is available for research. To obtain a copy of the report or to inquire about the public use dataset, contact Pat Smith (SmithPatK@state.mi.us).
Violence Against Adolescent Women Survey
In August, 1997, a mail questionnaire was completed by a representative sample of 2,300 male and female adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15. Half of the sample were Michigan residents, the other half were Ohio and Illinois residents. The purpose of this survey was to provide baseline data describing the amount and nature of violence against young adolescent females and formative information inputs for designing a model primary prevention demonstration program.
Community Assessment Tool (CAT)
The Community Assessment Tool (CAT) is an internet-based program designed to help users measure various aspects of violence in their community and make informed decisions. Results can be used to improve existing violence prevention programs, develop new initiatives, coordinate efforts with community groups, and educate elected officials and the media. CAT reveals strengths and weaknesses in a community's effort to make their homes, schools, and streets safer. CAT pulls together state and county data on a number of violence categories and risk factors for violent behavior, and allows for the addition of locally based information. With this information users can make systematic comparisons and examine trends over time. CAT assists users in interpreting data, investigating issues related to violence, and making informed decisions.
Community Youth Violence Prevention Assessment
The 3-day Community Youth Violence Prevention Assessment was developed to provide select Michigan communities an opportunity to learn more about the present state of their youth violence prevention programming efforts and to obtain objective recommendations for improving future efforts. The process brings together outside objective expert team members consisting of a law enforcement officer, a school/education expert, a violence prevention project coordinator or program director, and an academic researcher all of whom have experience in working in the area of youth violence.
The team reviews documents compiled by community organizers detailing current youth violence prevention and intervention efforts and relevant data associated with those efforts, and obtains verbal "testimony" from a variety of individuals from the community. The community organizer for the assessment, is responsible for recruiting knowledgeable community representatives to serve on panels to respond to questions posed by the assessment team and to present information to them.
On the last day of the assessment, an executive summary highlighting recommendations is presented to the community organizers. Approximately 10 days later, a final report validating current community efforts and providing guidance for improving future youth violence prevention programming efforts is presented to the community organizers.
To-date, assessments have been conducted for the following counties: Clinton, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo, Marquette, and Muskegon. Eight additional communites are scheduled to be assessed in FY2001.
Mini grants are made available to communities to cover the cost of the assessment. Communities interested in this assessment should contact Ryan Goei at the Michigan Public Health Institute. Also, copies of reports for the assessed counties can be obtained from Ryan.
Michigan Surveillance System of
Intimate Partner Violence Against Women
The Violence Against Women (VAW) Prevention Program in the Michigan Department of Community Health is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. to develop and implement a model surveillance system for intimate partner violence (IPV). The Program recently received a $1.5 million, 5-year continuation of its cooperative agreement with CDC for this work. This type of system is needed in Michigan because there is no single source that currently can provide useful information on this major health issue for Michigan's citizens, especially women.
The surveillance system of intimate partner violence in Michigan has two primary data sources: emergency departments and prosecuting attorneys offices. Each component is being developed to allow the Program to characterize and monitor IPV on a statewide basis. A summary of each component is provided below. Currently the system includes only non-fatal cases. Over the next year program staff will be developing a process for including IPV homicides into the system.
Emergency Departments The case definition is a female aged 16 or older who presents to an emergency department with an injury for which the etiology is identified as violence by an intimate partner (i.e., spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, dating partner). Hospital staff review medical records of women who have been assaulted and collect data on identified IPV cases. A sample of 23 hospitals is being used to develop data representative of the state. The VAW Prevention Program is coordinating the training of emergency department staff to identify, document, safeguard, and make appropriate referrals for victims of intimate partner violence. This training is important in order to improve IPV identification rates and promote the collection of the Program's desired data items.
Prosecuting Attorneys Offices The current case definition is a female aged 16 or older who is a victim of IPV for whom the prosecuting attorney authorized an arrest warrant for domestic violence (DV) charges against the alleged perpetrator. Cases are limited to assaults committed by a person aged 17 or older who is a spouse, ex-spouse, someone with whom the victim has had a child, or a current or former boyfriend/girlfriend with whom the victim currently or previously has lived. A 1994 law requires that police report certain information (e.g., victim & perpetrator demographics, information about the incident) to the prosecutor after investigating incidents of domestic violence. Data on these cases are being collected by VAW Prevention Program staff from a representative sample of 15 offices. Initially, the Program is collecting data on cases for which warrant requests are authorized and where there is a DV charge. Subsequently, the Program will also seek data on warrant request denials and cases such as criminal sexual conduct and felonious assaults where the parties are intimate partners.
Intimate Partner Violence Homicides The surveillance system currently focuses on non-fatal cases. During 2001, the groundwork will be laid for adding IPV fatalities to the system. Death certificates, Michigan Incident Crime Reporting (MICR) data, Supplemental Homicide Reports, Medical Examiner data, and prosecuting attorney data will be examined for possible inclusion in the system. The data will be used to estimate the magnitude of the problem in the state, follow trends, and characterize IPV homicides in Michigan.
|VAW Prevention Program Contacts|
Patricia Smith, M.S.
Michigan Medical Examiner (ME) Database Initiative
The goal of this initiative is to develop a statewide, comprehensive, uniform database for use by county medical examiners and researchers. The ME database is a centrally managed internet software system designed for local data collection. Participating medical examiners can access a website to electronically manage cases, produce summary statistics, and share standardized information.
Since recruitment began in 1998, half of the state's counties have agreed to participate. It is anticipated that nearly all counties will use the system by the end of 2001. Medical examiners and researchers interested in additional information can contact Clare Tanner.
Violence mortality database
The VP Section maintains a database of death certificate data that includes all homicides, suicides, legal intervention deaths, and firearm fatalities in Michigan. This database is updated annually and currently covers the period 1980-1998. It is used to respond to internal and external requests for information and to develop violence fact sheets.
Sexual Assault Surveillance System (SASS)
The SASS project is conducted by the Violence & Intentional Injury Prevention Program at Michigan State University with funding from the MDCH Violence Prevention Section. The system was developed to: estimate the magnitude of sexual assault in the state; determine populations at risk; identify trends; document the distribution and spread of sexual assault; and evaluate control strategies and prevention programs.
SASS collects and analyzes data from a number of sources (e.g., Uniform Crime Reports, adolescent sex offender programs, Department of Corrections, HIV/AIDS Prevention Section of MDCH) and applies a demographic context to these data. SASS is one of the first comprehensive sexual assault surveillance systems in the country.
WISQARS (national injury mortality database)
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has developed WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System). This is an interactive system that provides customized injury-related mortality data useful for research and for making informed public health decisions. Those interested in obtaining violence data can find data on homicide, suicide, legal intervention deaths, and firearm fatalities.
Mortality data from 1981-1997 are produced in two report formats: Injury Mortality Reports and Leading Causes of Death Reports. Both reports are available by Year, Age, Race, Sex, Hispanic Origin, and State. Reports can be requested by 5-year age ranges (e.g., 0-4, 5-9) or user-defined ages (e.g., 13-19). Race categories are White, Black, American Indian/AlaskanNative, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Other (which is all non-white and non-black and may include other races not listed here). Both reports can be produced for specific values of any of the above parameters (e.g. black females ages 15-19). Additionally Injury Mortality Reports can be ordered by these specific definitions as well as other parameters. For example, a report can be requested for a mechanism/cause and manner/intent in a specific state by sex, and race.
Note that WISQARS does not provide county-specific data.