Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Alicia Girgenti-Malone


Domestic violence affects many individuals on a daily basis. Rates of domestic violence have increased and affect one in three women, and one in five men in Massachusetts (Jane Doe Inc., 2019) and accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime committed in the United States (National Domestic Violence Hotline, n.d.). The current research examines the perceived effectiveness of the services provided by domestic violence programs designed to assist survivors in Essex County, Massachusetts. The current research investigated how well Massachusetts programs can be accessed and utilized by survivors. Qualitative data, in the form of face-to-face interviews with program directors and co-directors, were used to investigate the perceived effectiveness of different programs. Results of the interviews indicate that programs are effective in assisting survivors of domestic violence, but lack proper staffing and funding that would make them more accessible, beneficial, and effective. Policy implications are discussed and improvements are proposed to make programs more effective and beneficial in the future.