Case Management and Domestic Violence Presented by Marina Poroshin and Kirsten Gonzales
What is Domestic Violence • Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that one person uses against another. Abuse can be violent behaviors such as hitting, punching, and slapping, but it doesn’t have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse. It can also involve sexual assault. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education or economic background. Domestic violence also occurs in same-sex relationships.
Coercion and Threats • Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her • Threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare • Making her drop charges** • Making her do illegal things ** In the state of Michigan, a woman cannot drop the charges as they are filed by the prosecuting attorney. The only thing that she can do is not go to court to testify.
Using Intimidation • Making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures • Smashing things • Destroying her property • Abusing pets • Displaying weapons
Using Emotional Abuse • Putting her down • Making her feel bad about herself • Calling her names • Making her think she’s crazy • Playing mind games • Humiliating her • Making her feel guilty
Using Isolation • Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes • Limiting her outside involvement • Using jealousy to justify actions
Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming • Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously • Saying the abuse didn’t happen • Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior • Saying she caused it
Using Children • Making her feel guilty about the children • Using the children to relay messages • Using visitation to harass her • Threatening to take the children away
Using Male Privilege • Treating her like a servant • Making all the big decisions • Acting like the “master of the castle” • Being the one to define men’s and women’s roles
Using Economic Abuse • Preventing her from getting or keeping a job • Making her ask for money • Giving her an allowance • Taking her money • Not letting her know about or have access to family income
Tension • Fights • Verbal Abuse • Criticism and Control
Violence • Escalates and increases over time • Explosion of verbal or physical violence • Usually the time when the women leaves
Honeymoon • Batterer is charming • Flowers, candy, promises, etc • Usually the time when the women returns • Can last weeks or years
RADAR*For Domestic Violence • R Routinely screen female clientsA Ask direct questionsD Document your findingsA Assess client safetyR Review options and referrals • RADAR information developed by the Institute for Safe Families, a division of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Things to look for: • Behavioral clues: • Evasive, reluctance to speak in front of the partner • Overly protective or controlling partner. • Physical clues: • Any physical injuries (especially with central pattern - neck, throat, chest, breast, abdomen) • Unexplained, multiple or old injuries.
How to screen your clients for Domestic Violence • Talk to them alone in a safe, private environment. • Ask simple, direct questions such as: • Violence is so common in many people’s lives, I’ve started to ask all my clients about it routinely. • Are you in a relationship with a person who physically hurts or threatens you? • Did someone cause these injuries? Who? • Be aware of a history suggesting domestic violence: traumatic injuryor sexual assault; suicide attempt; physical symptoms related to stress; injuries during pregnancy; delay in seeking medical care after injury.
IF THE CLIENT ANSWERS YES: • Encourage her to talk about it: • “Would you like to talk about what happened to you? How do you feel about it?” • “What would you like to do about it?” • Listen nonjudgmentally: • This serves both to begin the healing process for the woman and to give you an idea of what kind of referralsshe may need. • Validate her experience: • Provide message of support by saying “You are not alone.” “No one has to live with violence.” “You do not deserve to be treated this way.” “You are not to blame.” “What happened to you is a crime.” “ Help is available to you.”
IF THE CLIENTS ANSWERS NO: • Be aware of any clinical signs that may indicate abuse. • Pay attention to such clues as delay between the time injury was inflicted and seeking treatment and inconsistency between the type of injury and explanation of how it occurred. Increased anxiety, depression and sleep disorders may be a sign of on-going abuse as well. • If any of these signs are present, ask more specific questions. Make sure she is alone. • “ I am worried about you. It looks like someone may have hurt you. Can you tell me what happened?” • “ Sometimes when people feel the way you do, it may be because they are being hurt at home. Is this happening to you?”
If your client denies abuse: • If your client denies abuse, but you strongly suspect it: • Provide information about the local DV shelters should she choose to pursue this option in the future. Document your opinion and observations. • Try to refer your client to their doctor or any other clinician • Michigan law requires medical care providers and institutions to make police reports for all people suffering from violently inflicted injury by a knife, gun, or other deadly weapon, or by other means of violence (MCL 750.411). “Other means of violence” may include , but is not limited to, beating, biting, strangling, hitting, kicking, punching , and slapping. This law applies regardless of the victim’s relationship with the person who inflicted the injury.
Advice for Women Leaving an Abusive Situation • For many women, leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most difficult decisions they will ever make. Depending on the situation, some women might have to leave the home abruptly, while others may have more time to plan. A woman should leave with the following items, when possible: • As much cash as possible, a checkbook, an ATM card and credit cards • A small bag of extra clothing for herself and her children • Extra keys • If time permits, other items of importance to take may include: • Bank account information • Social Security numbers (for abuser, woman and children) • Birth certificates (for woman and children) • Insurance policies • Marriage license • List of important phone numbers(family and friends)
Empowerment • Domestic violence can happen to anyone • The person coming for help is assumed to be a basically healthy person who needs understanding, information, support, and concrete information and resources in order to make changes in his/her life. • The case manager’s role is to help them tap their own strengths and abilities, and to recognize and experience her potential as a person. • Put forward the conscious expectation that a survivor will take charge of his/her own life. • The case manager and survivor are equals.
Notes from someone struggling to empower herself • Empowerment... • Means I stand up for my principles; it means I act on what I believe. It means I take responsibility for my reactions and my behavior. It means I care, but I do not rescue. It means I acknowledge that I make my own choices, and I live with the consequence. • Means I am on equal footing with someone who knows more than or less than I do on a certain subject and appreciating that we have our difference expertise. • Means I choose to be assertive more often than not.means that every time I listen to a person’s struggle, I gain insight. When someone reveals her personal story to me, I am receiving a gift and vice versa. So, the words giving and taking become increasingly irrelevant. Being self-empowered leads me to facilitate empowerment in others.
Continued • My reward is internal; I feel strong, I feel good about myself. I like that. • It took me a long time to reach this point. Empowerment was not my comfort zone. It was hard to try to rid myself of the need to be needed, to give up my rescuer tendencies, to give up trying to control my feelings, among other things. • Sometimes, it is still really hard.I sought out empowerment support systems where people help each other by co- facilitating each others’ empowerment via feedback, new information, brainstorming, choices, etc. • I believe empowering oneself is an ongoing process; my self-dignity, self-awareness, self-acceptance are almost continually on the rise. • I believe it is worth the struggle.
“Why doesn’t she just leave?” • The question so often asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” is based on the incorrect assumption that leaving will end the violence. It also assumes that the victim of violence has no right to their own home, and that perpetrators have the right to drive others from it. • There are many reasons why someone who is being battered may stay in an abusive relationship, though they may stay in an abusive relationship, though they may be difficult for others to fully understand the dynamics within the relationship are far more powerful to those who are in them than those of us on the outside can see or understand. All the same, these dynamics are real.
The following are only a few of the reasons why it may be hard to leave a battering relationship: • Lack of resources and social support are the most significant impediments to a victim of batterer’s ability to become independent and leave the batterer. • Love. The victim may still love the abuser and remember the good times in their relationship. • Hope. The victim may hope that the partner’s promises to stop are real, and that the relationship will return to the way it once was before the violence started. • Shame. The victim may feel ashamed to let other people know what is going on in the relationship. • Isolation. The batterer’s destruction of ties to friends and family may leave the victim economically and psychologically dependent on the abusive partner. • Practical problems in leaving: lack of a shelter or immediate space in the shelter; short stays in shelters where space is limited — not enough time to get started over; lack of legal assistance, housing, jobs, child care, police and court support.
Continued… • Fear of retaliation from the assailant. More battering victims are murdered while attempting to flee from their abusers than at any other time. • Cultural and/or religious pressure. Many individuals belong to identification groups or strongly believe in certain practices, including the need to maintain a marriage relationship no matter what. For women, the pressure is often on them to work to keep the family together. Not doing so, or leaving, may cause separation from culture and/or religion. • Many other reasons may contribute to a victim feeling trapped in a relationship and unable to “just leave.” For each individual the reasons may be unique to their situation, and often they do not see any other choice. • The most support systems there are in place in our society to assist victims of battering, the more likely they will be to leave an abusive relationship and not return. Creating and maintaining positive choices will allow others to make more positive decisions.
Ann Arbor DVP/SAFE House - Phone: (734)973-0242 Crisis: (734)995-5444 E-mail: email@example.com Charlotte SIREN/Eaton Shelter, Inc. - Phone: (517)543-4915 Crisis: 1-800-899-9997E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org East Lansing MSU Safe Place - Phone: (517)355-1100 ext. 2 Crisis: (517) 372-5572E-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.msu.edu/-safe Jackson Aware, Inc - Phone: (517) 783-2861 Crisis: sameE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Lansing Eve, Inc. - Phone: (517) 372-5976 Crisis: (517) 372-5572 St. Johns RAVE - Phone: (517) 224 -4662 Crisis: (517) 224-7283E-mail: email@example.com WHERE TO GO FOR HELP
Additional Resources • Michigan Crime Victim Notification Network - 800/770-7657 • Violence Against Women Office of the Department of Justice/National Resource Center/University of Minnesota -www.vaw.umn.edu • Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence - www.mcadsv.org - 517/381-4663 • Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Resources Hotline - 800/996-6228