Measuring Success in the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Domestic/Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, And Stalking : A Pilot Project

Conceptual Model

What is a Conceptual Model?

A conceptual model outlines the pathways to achieving program outcomes, and a theory of change explains how program activities are believed to produce those outcomes.

What can you use this Conceptual Model for?

  • To develop a clear picture of how your service model should lead to desired outcomes
  • To better measure the impact of your programs through meaningful evaluation
  • To better tell your story to community, criminal justice, victim services, and funding stakeholders


Conceptual Model for VAWA-funded Law Enforcement Programs:


How could you use a conceptual model in your work?

    … Start with these questions:

  • Where do you see your vision and mission reflected in this conceptual model?
  • What outcomes do you hope to achieve?
  • Do you have the capacity to capture data measures related to those outcomes?
    • If not yet, what would it take to collect and track that data?
  • How could you use the data to improve your program?

Project Products

Many of the products developed as a result of this project can help victim service providers, law enforcement, and researchers start thinking about measuring the benefits of their work:

  • Model Brief: 4-page summary of our conceptual model process and how you can do something similar for your program.
  • Executive Summary: Two-page project summary.
  • Literature Review: How has previous research measured these outcomes?
  • Dataset Inventory: Inventory of existing national datasets for usefulness in measuring these outcomes. [LIVE LINK]
  • Indicators Matrix: A matrix of metrics (MS Excel document) that law enforcement agencies serving victims of VAWA crimes can use to measure their results. It can be sorted by concept area, provides several options to measure each outcome, and is free for download and use.
  • Research Agenda: to guide researchers and practitioners in needed projects that would fill gaps in our knowledge and advance the field even further.
  • Complete Conceptual Framework Report: Full project report.



Presentation from the JRSA Webinar – Measuring Outcomes in Response to Victims of Crime (December 8, 2021)

NOTE: OVW is not requiring grantees to adopt any of these recommended metrics now. Instead, this information is provided to help those who are interested take steps to measure their outcomes – whether or not they are funded by OVW.

For more information, contact contact Roger Przybylski at or Sarah Goan at

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-SI-AX-K001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.