Domestic violence is a serious, preventable health problem affecting more than 30 million Americans annually, yet little is known about federally-funded service provision.
The authors used the National Census of Domestic Violence Services, an innovative victim safety-focused survey, to count services provided by more than 2,000 programs. During the 24-hour survey period, 48,350 people used these services. The results show substantial unmet demand for services (10% of requests) because of resource constraints, particularly in rural, economically disadvantaged and minority communities. Greater funding of domestic violence programs, particularly housing support, is likely to be a cost-effective public health investment.