Violence Surveillance Database Project

​Evidence-Based Practice and Evidence-Based Policy require that practitioners and policy makers have access to the best available evidence as part of their decision cycle. Indeed the lag between research findings and policy needs is one of the problems in effectively influencing policy.

In the world of policy (including violence prevention), agencies/organizations that provide services often have to respond to policy concerns without the benefit of time to do controlled research. Having current violence surveillance and service use data available for agencies to access easily would help bridge the gap between evidence and policy as well as assist with evaluation. While many agencies relevant to prevention of child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and sexual assault, maintain electronic databases these are typically not linked.

This demonstration project will be designed in cooperation with public agency (state and local level) practitioner and policy makers, private social service personnel and academics with substantive knowledge in violence, data security, and data management.

We will develop a web-based application as a “proof of concept” demonstration, evaluate its utility, and refine the technical design requirements. This pilot will then provide the basis for seeking subsequent funding from state agencies, foundations, and federal agencies for larger scale development and testing.

Develop a secure, multi-agency datacube pilot to provide access to current information on prevalence of detected child maltreatment, sexual violence, and sexual assault; their overlap; and related individual and services characteristics.

Conduct alpha testing of the cube with one public and one private agency to assess feasibility, utility and validity of results, and identify any concerns with the use of this approach.

This is a developmental project meant to create a prototype system which could be:
Expanded to include a vast range of other databases capable of a more comprehensive look at violence and injury

Adopted by the state as a service offered to multiple state, private and academic users

Used as the basis for full scale university-based application to create a larger system, probably to a federal agency, such as CDC, NIMH or OJJDP

This project will also help advance science about the implementation of such a system in partnership with agencies. This should improve the capacity for replication.

Brett Drake, PhD

Center for Disease Control and Prevention


Peter Hovmand, PhD

Brett Drake