Coordinated Community Response and Implementation of Laws
Last updated May 2010
Coordinated community response is an intervention strategy developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. This strategy, often called the "Duluth model," is a "system of networks, agreements, processes and applied principles created by the local shelter movement, criminal justice agencies, and human service programs that were developed in a small northern Minnesota city over a fifteen year period. It is still a project in the making." From:  Ellen Pence & Martha McMahon, A Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence (1999), The National Training Project, Duluth, Minnesota.
Although there is no one model that will work in every context, the model used by DAIP in Duluth is one of the most successful coordinated community response projects and has been adapted for use in communities in many different parts of the world. See: Adapting the Duluth Model, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Coordinated Community Response, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights.
Legislation should include provisions that require agency collaboration and communication in addressing domestic violence. NGO advocates who directly serve domestic violence victims should have leadership roles in such collaborative efforts. When police, judicial officials, NGOs that provide direct service to victims of violence, and medical providers coordinate their efforts to protect battered women and hold batterers accountable, these efforts are more successful. Coordination helps to ensure that the system works faster and better for victims; that victims are protected and receive the services they need; and that batterers are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior.
See: Council of Europe General Recommendation Rec(2002)5, para. 27 Benefits of Coordination, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; Goals and Strategies of Intervention, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Community Response Participants, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; Implementation of Laws,
Many nations have provisions which mandate cooperation by state agencies. For example, one of the objectives of Albania’s law is:
  • a. To set up a coordinated network of responsible authorities for protection, support and rehabilitation of victims, mitigation of consequences and prevention of domestic violence[.]
The law of Philippines includes the following provisions on community collaboration:
  • SEC. 39. Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IAC-VAWC). In pursuance of the abovementioned policy, there is hereby established an Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their children, hereinafter known as the Council, which shall be composed of the following agencies:
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW); Civil Service Commission (CSC); Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC); Department of Justice (DOJ); Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Philippine National Police (PNP); Department of Health (DOH); Department of Education (DepEd); Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
  • These agencies are tasked to formulate programs and projects to eliminate VAW based on their mandates as well as develop capability programs for their employees to become more sensitive to the needs of their clients. The Council will also serve as the monitoring body as regards to VAW initiatives…
  • SEC. 42. Training of Persons Involved in Responding to Violence Against Women and their Children Cases. – All agencies involved in responding to violence against women and their children cases shall be required to undergo education and training to acquaint them with:
  • the nature, extend and causes of violence against women and their children; the legal rights of, and remedies available to, victims of violence against women and their children; the services and facilities available to victims or survivors; the legal duties imposed on police officers to make arrest and to offer protection and assistance; and techniques for handling incidents of violence against women and their children that minimize the likelihood of injury to the officer and promote the safety of the victim or survivor…”

Brazil’s law includes collaboration with law enforcement, the media and educational institutions. Importantly, it includes NGOs in the language of the law:

  • The public policy aimed at restraining domestic and family violence against women will be implemented by means of an integrated set of actions by the Federal Union, the States, the Federal District and the Municipalities and non-government actions, according to the following guidelines:
    • I - operational integration of the Judiciary Branch, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Defender with the areas of public security, social assistance, health, education, work and housing…
    • IV - implementation of specialized police assistance for women, in particular in the Police Offices for Assistance to Women;
    • V - promotion and holding of educative campaigns to prevent domestic and family violence against women, directed to the school public and society in general, and dissemination of this Law and of the instruments of protection of women’s human rights;
    • VI – establishment of accords, protocols, adjustments, terms or other instruments of promotion of partnership between government bodies or between them and non-government entities, with a view to the implementation of programs to eradicate domestic and family violence against women;
    • VII - permanent training of the Civil and Military Police, Municipal Guard, Fire Brigade and of the professionals belonging to the agencies and areas listed in item I, on gender and race or ethnicity issues;
    • VIII - promotion of educational programs that disseminate ethical values of unrestricted respect to the dignity of the human person with a gender and race or ethnicity perspective;
    • IX - emphasis, in the school syllabus of all levels of education, on contents related to human rights, gender and race or ethnicity equity and the problem of domestic and family violence against women. Chapter 1, Article 8 [emphasis added]
Spain’s law states that “The female victims of gender violence are entitled to receive care, crisis, support and refuge, and integrated recovery services…Such services will act in coordination with each other and in collaboration with the Police, Violence against Women Judges, the health services, and the institutions responsible for providing victims with legal counsel, in the corresponding geographical zone.” Art. 19
  • Spain’s law also provides for funding and evaluation of these coordination procedures. Article 19
  • Moldova’s law calls for local public administration authorities to cooperate with international organizations and civil society. Article 5