Domestic violence is a public health issue that affects millions of Americans every year. In 1994, upon the passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, President Bill Clinton called on all departments of the federal government to play a role in increasing awareness about this important issue. Even though awareness has increased and there are more programs and resources available to victims of domestic violence, there is still work to do. In 2010, sixteen years after VAWA’s passage, President Obama made his own statement about domestic violence stating, “The bottom line is this: nobody in America should live in fear because they’re unsafe in their own home, no adult and no child, and no one who is the victim of abuse should ever feel that they have no way to get out.”
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Both women and men can be victims. Women, however, are disproportionately affected by this type of violence. This course will discuss domestic violence and how it affects women, men, and LGBTQ+ couples and their families.
As social service professionals, there will come a time (if there hasn’t been one already), when you are working with a client who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. After this training, you will possess a working knowledge about domestic violence which will allow you to better understand the situations of some of your clients.
This awareness will allow you to have compassionate and meaningful interactions with victims which can ultimately make a huge difference in their lives. Positive interactions between victims and social service providers are important and necessary in order for victims to receive the support and resources they need. Domestic violence is a difficult topic for many to learn about, even for social service providers, but it is vital information that you learn so that you can better understand your role in helping victims through these experiences.
By the end of this training, social service providers will be able to:
- Understand the prevalence of and statistics about domestic violence.
- Define domestic violence and describe its common dynamics.
- Identify the different ways that victims respond to and cope with domestic violence.
- Distinguish between myths and facts about domestic violence.
- Understand the elements of a safety plan and its importance when working with victims of domestic violence.
- Know the five different orders of protection that victims can use against perpetrators in the state of Florida.
- Recognize the impact of domestic violence on children.
- Understand the reasons a victim may choose to stay in a violent relationship.
- Know what victim blaming is and how to avoid it.
- Identify local and national resources that may benefit victims.
- Access guiding principles that will help ensure that victims receive competent service.