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Domestic Violence


Force on Family Violence, "The greatest risk for serious injury or death from violence is at the point of separation or at the time when the decision to separate is made." As a result of the grave safety issues facing survivors, safety planning is one of the most important intervention strategies.
For the purposes of this discussion conference topic please complete the following:

1. Read the article by attorney Jill Davies, Safety Planning (under Week 7 Content). Pay careful attention to the "Battered Women’s Risk Analysis Chart" located at the end of the article. I've also posted a link for the article below.

2. Next, review the Safety Plan distributed by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The link for this plan is at the end of this post.

3. Please respond to the following questions:

a) In talking with a friend s/he says to you, "I don’t get it. A battered woman could leave if she wants to. Why does she stay and put up with that?" How would you respond?
b) What might be difficult about trying to safety plan with a survivor in crisis?
c) How might it be different to safety plan with a survivor who has children versus a survivor who does not?
d) Locate a safety plan for either children or teenagers and attach this safety plan to your post.

Sample Answer

While answering the question “why a battered woman does not leave the relation” can addressed in the following way: Firstly, a batterer often uses controlling behavior apart from physical violence which can harm the women or their children and a loss of housing, healthcare, employment or standard of living and secondly, leaving the relation often does not cause an elimination of the risks, but instead create new ones for them and their children (Bishop & Bettinson, 2018; Wolf, 2015). Thus a woman, who is a victim of domestic violence are often faced with a tough decision on whether to stay and risk more violence or leave and risk worsening of the hardship and put the wellbeing of themselves and their children in jeopardy or even losing children in a custody battle (vawnet.org, 2018).

In order to be effective, safety plans for battered women should be comprehensive and also meet the basic needs of a human and provide them a plan for life not just outlining the strategies to address the issues of domestic violence (Jahanfar et al., 2014). This can be a challenging task as it involves developing an understanding of the risks towards the safety of the women due to an abusive partner, understanding how the different risks faced in life and culture affects the decision making ability of the woman, outlining the safety strategies that can be used to reduce the risks of violence and the role of the advocates trying to help the women. Moreover for a safety plan to be effective it is necessary to ensure to support the independence of the women from their abusive partners (vawnet.org, 2018; training.cfsrportal.acf.hhs.gov, 2018).

Developing a safety plan for survivors of domestic violence who has children needs to consider the following risks faced by the women, which includes: physical injury or psychological harm to the children, loss of children or becoming a single parent, being alone. Also, developing care plan also needs to consider the additional financial need for supporting their children and their needs. An effective care plan should have the provision to support both the survivor and her children (bwjp.org, 2018).

For women without children, the care plan needs to consider the risks posed to them because of domestic violence, which can include physical risks (such as injuries, sexually transmitted diseases and even death), psychological injuries (such as mental abuse, addiction, depression and risk of suicides) as well as a financial risk for leaving their partners (bwjp.org, 2018).

The need for safety for children and teenagers who are exposed to domestic violence can be ensured through various child protection services are outlined under the United Nations Convention of Rights of Child (UN CRC 1989), article 19.1.  The Texas Advocacy Project provides a safety plan for teenagers, which includes questionnaires as well as tips for safety and confidence to empower the children or teens facing abuse or domestic violence (see Appendix 1) (bwjp.org) (texasadvocacyproject.org, 2018).


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