Detail from "the second line," a painting by Bob Graham. For more about the artist, click here.

Online Program

Identifying Issues, Challenges and Best Practices in Surveying Hard-to-Reach Group Quarters Populations in Domestic Violence Shelters
View Presentation View Presentation

*Susan Dewey, University of Wyoming 

Keywords: group quarters, domestic violence shelter

This research was carried out as part of a larger U.S. Census Bureau study designed to develop the most feasible method to evaluate the accuracy of the census count in the type of living arrangements known as “group quarters”. This includes college residence halls, correctional facilities, and homeless and domestic violence shelters. A total of six researchers with expertise on various types of group quarters conducted the larger research simultaneously during the 2010 census. This study will report on the findings relating to population in domestic violence shelters. Unlike residents of other group quarters, many residents in domestic violence shelters have a vested interest in remaining anonymous because they fear abusers or other conditions that have placed them in the group home or, in some cases, these residents have mental health conditions or problems with drug or alcohol abuse. The economic and family difficulties they face also influence their behavior and beliefs, making them place a low priority on activities such as census enumeration or survey study in the face of other pressing life difficulties. Some women may be undocumented migrants and thus fear that accurately completing the census forms or participating in government survey study will make them visible to what they perceive as authority figures and thereby incur deportation. Findings presented in this paper are based upon ethnographic data gathered through participant observations and semi-structured interviews with staff members at three Midwestern domestic violence shelters during the 2010 census environment, followed by focus groups with staff members at four such facilities in a Western State in 2011. This paper will discuss five primary issues and challenges in surveying populations housed in domestic violence shelters. Best practices and recommendations will be identified with respect to large-scale studies that seek to enumerate or survey hard-to-reach populations in domestic violence shelters.

ASA Meetings Department · 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 · (703) 684-1221

Copyright © American Statistical Association.