In 1996, Virginians Against Domestic Violence (VADV) and Virginians
Aligned Against Sexual Assault (VAASA), both private non-profit
organizations, spearheaded a project to develop a web-based system
to collect victim information. This innovative and comprehensive
data collection system, unique in the nation, was funded by seven
different social service agencies in Virginia, and was implemented
for statewide use on October 1, 1999.
Advanced DataTools began working with VADV in 1998 to complete
the VAdata system, and provides ongoing support and enhancements.
Historically, very little information has been collected from
victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to the implementation
of VAdata, social workers and victim advocates working with programs
throughout Virginia collected and compiled data manually to justify
existing and new programs, and to satisfy the reporting requirements
of their various funders and state oversight agencies. Preparing
the data and reports required weeks and sometimes months, and took
resources away from the critical services offered by these agencies.
VAdata is developed in IBM Informix -4GL running on IBM Informix
7.3 (donated by Informix Software, Inc.), Perl, HTML, and CGI, Red
Hat Linux, and the Apache web server. Users are able to enter all
data into forms, either during telephone hot line calls, or after
interviews, and to search the database for entries. Reports are
now quickly prepared on a regular basis or as needed for various
funding sources and supporters.
Advanced DataTools is currently redesigning the web forms and standard
reports in Macromedia ColdFusion, and VADV staff will be using Brio
Explorer, donated by Brio Software, for ad hoc reporting. The redesigned
system will save VAdata users many hours of report development and
Since VAdata went live, over 500,000 forms have been entered into
the system by the 60+ programs and agencies in Virginia.
With the VAdata system, staff members of the participating programs
are now able to:
- track trends
- more effectively communicate how their programs are helping
victims and their families, and
- more efficiently produce quarterly and annual reports to their
funding sources, HHS, and the Virginia Department of Social Services.
In December 2002, VADV’s co-directors received a letter of
appreciation from Tim Kaine, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,
expressing his gratitude for their work and the 2001 Domestic Violence
Report (based on VAdata) that “presented astounding information
and statistics.” He further committed to “keep [their]
policy priorities in mind during the upcoming [Virginia] General
Assembly session,” proving the power of information to bring
about change in the lives of victims.
For more information about VADV’s programs and services,
visit our Community
Support page or VADV's website at www.vadv.org.