The Polis Center and Domestic Violence Network have been working together for several years to integrate and analyze data from criminal justice and service records. (You can read the latest report, from 2014, here.)
Past reports have proven the feasibility of connecting and integrating disparate data sources, all of which contain some information about domestic violence victims, suspects, and cases in Marion County. Whenever a domestic violence incident is reported to the police, there are police incident reports, court records, and records created by services that help victims. Data about domestic violence victims and perpetrators are also found in data about protective orders.
On their own, these data can describe the trends related to each separate agency or process, but they cannot describe the way these agencies are linked. Victims and suspects are duplicated throughout datasets, so a count of victims or suspects across time is impossible.
When these datasets are integrated, and duplicate people are matched across all datasets, we can answer new questions about how many victims, suspects, and incidents there are, where these victims are located, how many repeat offenders there, and more. These insights allow targeted strategies and outreach, and provide metrics to see how the number of domestic violence victims is changing over time.
We are working to develop new technology solutions that will allow these datasets to be easily refreshed each year. This integrated domestic violence database will make it more efficient to report data and metrics more frequently. The database will also drive a new web tool that will allow the public to easily become familiar with the facts about domestic violence in Marion County. This transparency aids in advocacy awareness, and it allows advocates to demonstrate impact over time.