Services Responding to Domestic Violence Survivors’ Needs: A Study of Pennsylvania Providers’ Perspective


  • Yasoda Sharma Professor, Dept of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
  • John Vafeas Professor of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania



domestic violence, service providers, adequacy, barriers, accessibility


This research examined domestic violence services and programs provided in rural and urban Pennsylvania. It identified the potential gaps in services and assessed programs adequacies from the perspective of program leaders. The study examined the needs and characteristics of both agencies and their clients.  In addition, barriers to effective delivery of domestic violence services in Pennsylvania was examined.

A Structured questionnaire was used as a primary method of data collection and explored answers for research question on the challenges and opportunities Domestic Violence agencies’ leaderships experiences in providing services. Sampling frame included 60 service providers from Pennsylvania, of which 45 agencies serving the survivors of Domestic Violence participated. Funding for this research was provided by a University grant and the partnership with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence provided technical assistance and access to agencies. The agency leaders who agreed to participate were contacted and both in person and telephonic interviews were conducted. The interview lasted for about 45 -60 minutes.

The study found that there is a wide consensus among leaders that transportation and transitional housing services are inadequate in their program service areas while services like crisis hotline, general advocacy and case management are exceptional.

Over 50% of the agencies did not comment on the adequacies of the services such as Job Coaching, Immigrations services, Divorce/Custody representation, and Criminal Court representation.

The results have several policy implications regarding federal and state government programs, specifically considerations to fund transportation, transitional housing and legal advocacy services.

Author Biography

John Vafeas, Professor of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Professor of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania


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How to Cite

Sharma, Y., & Vafeas, J. (2022). Services Responding to Domestic Violence Survivors’ Needs: A Study of Pennsylvania Providers’ Perspective. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 22(3).