Saturday, November 12
Questionnaire Design
Sat, Nov 12, 11:00 AM - 12:25 PM
Hibiscus B
Questionnaire Design for Crime and Victimization Surveys

Developing a Questionnaire for Respondents Who Don’t Know What They Know (303384)

Erin L. Bauer, Westat 
Matthew Bernstein, Westat 
Cynthia Helba, Westat 
*Teresa Koenig, Westat 
Mariel Leonard, University of Mannheim 

Keywords: honor-based violence, HBV, honor violence, domestic violence, questionnaire design, crime surveys, vulnerable populations

How does one design a questionnaire for respondents who do not know what they know? We will discuss the development and implementation of an original questionnaire designed to learn about social service providers’ experiences with cases involving honor-based violence (HBV), a relatively rare and unfamiliar form of domestic violence. While there are known cases of HBV in the US, there has been no reliable estimate of how frequently it occurs.

As part of on-going research on behalf of the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, we conducted an environmental scan of existing survey instruments that might be used as a source of HBV prevalence data. We identified a few surveys that discussed HBV; however, none were appropriate for our purposes. Drawing on best practices of surveys of crimes, such as domestic violence and human trafficking, and research on HBV in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, we developed a survey instrument with a descriptive list of behaviors that are often associated with HBV. We anticipated that this list would cue respondents, who may not otherwise recognize or think they have experience with or knowledge of HBV, to potential cases. We conducted a scoping study with social service providers, and found that the list of behaviors enabled them to identify cases of HBV and concluded that our instrument could be used to find cases of HBV. We used responses from our scoping study to inform and revise our list of HBV behaviors, and developed questions about victim and perpetrator demographics, as well as the availability of training for social service providers about HBV.

We will also discuss directions for future research, including the possible implementation of our descriptive list of HBV behaviors as a module in on an upcoming survey of victim service providers, and how these data could be used to expand the knowledge base of HBV in the United States.