Helping people overcome life’s challenges Putting the Pieces Together:Utilizing the David Mandel “Safe & Together Model” in Working with Domestic Violence Family Centered Practice Training Series FamiliesFirst Network Training Department
Objectives Our focus is on achieving child safety, permanency, and well-being by: • Supporting survivors to keep themselves and their children safe. • Holding batterers accountable for their actions. • Maintaining a Family Centered Practice focus. • Consider the impact of the trauma on children and survivors when DV is present. • Understand how the integration of the David Mandel Model, “Safe & Together” helps keep our children safe.
Florida Criminal Definition of DV "Domestic violence" means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. - Ch. 741 F.S.
Definition of Family or Household Member "Family or household member" means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit. - Ch.741 F.S.
Family Violence Threatens Child • Uses family or household member definition from criminal statute. • Builds on documentation from interviewing and observations. • Current and past incidents • Information from children, caregivers, other witnesses, and/or persons who know the family well • Documentation of a pattern of domestic violence related incidents. • - DCF Allegation Matrix
Information is the Key • Incident report may offer little insight • Very few witnesses- take sides • Scene changes rapidly • Chaos can be overwhelming
Characteristics of a Batterer A “batterer” is someone who has a consistent pattern of coercive control of an intimate partner. Coercive control includes different forms of: Psychological abuse Intimidation An inflated sense of self-entitlement Physical or sexual abuse
The Perception that Abuse and Control are Justified Behaviors to control increase over time. The batterer perceives his controlling behavior as justified and therefore sees his partner’s reluctance to be controlled as evidence of her mental instability, volatility, or desire to control him. - Bancroft and Silverman, 2002
Characteristics that are common… The overarching attitudinal characteristic is entitlement: • The belief that one has special rights and privileges without accompanying reciprocal responsibilities. • The belief that violence can be justified against a partner. • The belief that family life should center around the meeting of his needs.
What Entitlement Looks Like… Entitlement in the context of “battering” is evident through: • Demands for physical and emotional caretaking. • The perception that when needs or wants are not met, the batterer has been wronged. • The tendency to see oneself as being provoked to violence.
High demand for service: Insistence that the batterer’s needs come first and must be met. High level of control: Insistence on controlling even the most mundane actions, decisions, expressions, behaviors, and relationships of the partner. Types of Entitlement
Confusion of Love and Abuse: “My violence is a result of the intensity of my love for my partner. If I didn’t feel so deeply, I would not get like that.” Externalization of Responsibility: “It’s not my fault.” Blaming the violence on stress, substance abuse, issues from childhood, intolerable emotional state Additional Characteristics
Additional Characteristics • Serial Battering: • Batterers tend to abuse more than one woman over the course of their adult relationships.
Reasons Why She Stays…*Susan G McGee. • Separation violence. • Psychological terror and brainwashing (Stockholm Syndrome) • For the children: custody or harm. • Isolation from support. • Some still love the batterer. *First, that is the wrong question…
Reasons She Stays, continued • They believe counseling will help. • Cannot get protection or services. • Legal System failings. • Historically disempowered. • Cultural, moral, and religious values.
Last, but not Least They fear their children will be killed.
Bear in Mind… • As afraid as the survivor may be of losing her children, she may be more concerned that she will be killed, leaving her children unprotected. • We cannot know how many ways the batterer has threatened and brainwashed the survivor and children.
Appearances • How it looks to the outside: • “She is choosing her man over her children.” • How it looks to the survivor: • “I am making sacrifices to keep my family together and keep my children as safe from harm as I am capable.”
Impact of DV on Children Daughters of batterers are 6.5 times more likely than other girls to be the victims of incest. 63% of boys between the ages of 11 and 20 years of age, who commit murder, commit murder against their mother’s batterer. Sons of batterers are 1,000 times more likely to commit domestic violence themselves.
What the Children Need • What are the consequences for the children of the perpetrator’s actions? • How is each parent relating to the children around safety, stability, nurturance and healing from trauma? • Do we distinguish between the different roles of perpetrator and non-offending parent in our case work?
Safety Planning • Who could have been used in a safety plan in this video • How could the survivor have utilized her neighbors in a safety plan • What were some indicators of abuse the neighbors witnessed • Why didn’t people get involved
Safety and Recovery Planning • Partnerships result in plans that may include: • Strategies for holding batterer accountable • Steps for achieving increased safety and control regardless of survivor decisions to stay or leave • Recovery supports for survivors and children • Plans may also include: • Legal and other options for removal of batterer • Options for placement of children • Visits with non-offending parent and siblings • Conditions needed for children’s visits with batterer • Substance abuse interventions
What Works? Services for Batterers • The most effective time for intervention with batterers is between arrest and adjudication. • Individuals who have been arrested for DV re-offend at a rate of 67% between arrest and adjudication. • That rate goes down to 34% for those who enter or participate in treatment between arrest and adjudication.
Service Options for Batterers • Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) • most common intervention • Substance abuse treatment programs. • Parenting programs. • Individual counseling.
What Makes for Change in Batterers? Fear of incarceration is shown to be more effective than empathy for the survivor at inducing batterers to refrain from violence. These men may respond more positively to approaches designed to elicit empathy for children.
The relationship between the children and the non-offending parent “The active involvement of the non-abusing parent, usually the mother, is an essential component of the intervention with a child.” (Groves & Gerwirtz) Monahan (Children and Trauma): “Fearful children experiencing the impact of a psychological trauma look first and foremost to protective parents and trusted adults for reassurance and support. They search for signs of comforting normality and routine in their daily life to undo their sense that life ahs changed in sinister and frightening ways. Above all, most children look for signs that nothing has changed in their important relationships with their parents and other trusted adults.”
Good practice with survivors • Seek to understand the batterer generated and life generated risks she faces in her decision making • Seek to validate her efforts • Share your concerns about her partner's behaviour. • Partner with her to support her safety plan and identify additions to the plan that will work.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) • What is a SME • How can they help me • How do I get a consultation with a SME • What do I need to know