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Focus Groups - Battered Women's Justic Project

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Focus Groups
A Tool to Enhance CCRs
This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-TA-AX-K027 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this conference are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be better able to….Identify three ways focus groups can enhance local CCRsDiscuss the utility of focus groups with local CCR partnersEvaluate whether to use focus groups to support the specific work of their own CCRs
Polling Questions
How many of you have conducted a focus group in your community (as an organizer or facilitator)?How many of you have participated in a focus group (as an informant)?
Our Focus Today
Important Distinctions
Focus Groups
Topical community conversationsFacilitated by a community member or teamA way to get insight into people’s perceptions, views, and experiences
“Focus Groups”
Research on human subjectsFacilitated by a researcher or team of researchersSubject to IRB approvalOften a precursor to more experimental research
Focus Groups
You Can Use Focus Groups to….
Gain an understanding of perceptions, views, and experiences (OH)Identify themes, gaps, and challenges across community sectors (DE)Hear from those who may not be represented in official statistics or reports, especially marginalized or under-served communities (MN)
You Can Use Focus Groups to….
Learn what experts have to say about a complex or controversial issue, topic, or initiative (risk)Gather input and advice on the development of proposed policies, procedures, tools, or forms (IL)Solicit feedback on draft policies, procedures, tools, or forms (OH, judicial guides)
Other Uses….
Have you used (or thought about using) focus groups for other purposes?
Be clear about what you’re trying to accomplishSelect participants carefullyTrain community members to facilitate whenever possiblePrepare questions in advance, with input from those who know the community and the issuesChoose an appropriate settingObtain informed consent
The depth and accuracy of the information you get depends upon who’s in the roomSmall groups work best – so you may have to conduct multiple sessionsRecruitment can be challenging – you may need to offer incentivesGood facilitation and note-taking are key
Applications Back Home
How can focus groups enhance the work of your own CCRs?
JaneSaduskyand JenniferObinna, 2002,Violence Against Women: Focus Groups with Culturally Distinct and Underserved Communities,Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.Focus Groups: Not Your Average Market Research Strategy, June 2017; from Survivors: Focus Groups and Other Tools, June 2014;
Questions and Comments
Gabrielle [email protected]





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Focus Groups - Battered Women's Justic Project