DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Section I (Definitions)


Slide 1

There are 2 main definitions that appear to be the most valued when thinking about the components of Domestic Violence as a Social Problem. One created by the APA (American Psychological Association) and the other created by the Legal system.


Although both definitions are different, they both aim to provide a source from which researchers and others can understand domestic violence, in order to do something to solve the problem.



Slide 2 APA Definition



The American Psychological Association defines domestic violence as physical, emotional, or verbal violence that occurs between intimate partners, dubbed Intimate partner violence or (IPV), it involves but is not limited to:

–      Verbal and psychological abuse

–      Physical Abuse

–      Sexual Abuse

–      Emotional Abuse


It is also characterized as being a reoccurring pattern

–      It is something that tends to happen more than once and in some cases on a daily basis.





Slide 3 Legal Definition



Public outrage over domestic violence has led to the inclusion of the violence against women act as title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The act authorized research and education programs for judges and judicial staff to enhance knowledge and awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. It also provided funding for police training and for shelters, increased penalties for domestic violence and rape, and provided for enhanced privacy protection for victims.


The awareness of this problem has led to the creation of many shelters and help centers, that are specifically aimed at helping those who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.





Slide 4 Shared characteristics of DV


While both the research and legal definitions of DV incorporate physical and sexual abuse



The APA studies phenomenon like:


Social isolation, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and use of children as a means of control


Legal definitions incorporate:


Intimidation, threats, stalking, harassment, generally acts that lead up to and include physical violence.



Slide 5 Pattern of Domestic Violence



  • Domestic violence can be seen as a pattern:

–      Initially it begins with the use of harsh or intimidating language toward the other partner

–      As rage builds up due to a number of causes and factors, the partner resorts to the use of physical abuse and harsh violence.

–      Finally after the abuse has been administered the partner who has just done the abusing asks for forgiveness from the victim, and promises that they will never do this again.

–      Making the partner think that it will never happen again, they do not take any measures to report the abuse at all.

–      When in fact the chances that the abuse were to stop are not very likely.




Slide 6 A long way to go….



  • Although domestic violence has now begun to be considered a criminal offense, the problem still appears to be very prominent in society today.
  • The fact that there are so many definitions at many times does not help the creation of feasible solution.

Many definitions lack socio-cultural contexts and therefor make some of the definitions, incorporated into the larger definition, weak.



Section II (Prevalence Statistics)




Slide 1 Sources


This data sheet contains selected, recent, national statistics1 related to intimate partner violence (IPV) – violence by current and former spouses, dating partners and cohabiting partners. Most of the statistics come from government sources; some are from research studies and summary reports generated by non-profit groups. Contributors included:

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)

New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV)

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)

New York State Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS)

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)

New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS)

Office of Court Administration (OCA)

Safe Horizon


Slide 3 National Statistics

In 2007, intimate partners were responsible for 16% of nonfatal violence against women with disabilities, and 5% of violence against men with disabilities. (The comparable figures for women and men without disabilities were 27% and 3%.)6


On average between 2001 and 2005:

• _Women aged 20 to 24 were at greater risk of IPV than other age groups.7


• _The annual per capita rate of IPV was similar for black and white women and for Hispanic and non-Hispanic women and men, and higher for American Indian and Alaska Native women



In 2005, in stalking cases where the victim/offender relationship was known, 28% of stalkers were current or former intimate partners. (This figure includes cases the study defined as “harassment,” which would have counted as stalking under NYS law.)10


In the mid-1990s, 59% of female stalking victims and 30% of male victims were stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 81% of women stalked by an intimate partner were also physically assaulted and 31% were also sexually assaulted by the same partner.11


In the US every year, about 18,700 incidents of violence in the workplace are committed by a worker’s current or former intimate partner.12 2





Slide 4 IPV Homicide Rates (NY)



73 intimate partner homicides were reported in 2010, with 34 reported in New York City and 39


in the rest of the State. This represents a 19% decrease from 2009 and a 7% increase from 2007.1



Slide 5 IPV Homicide Rates (National)


Read the slide itself…..



Slide 6 Increased Risk


Over 80% of men who killed or abused a female partner were problem drinkers in the year before the incident.20 o


More than 2/3 of homicide and attempted homicide offenders were intoxicated at the time of the incident, compared to fewer than 1/4 of their victims.21 o


More than 1/4 of homicide offenders used both alcohol and drugs during the incident, compared to just under 6% of non-lethal partner abusers



Slide 7 Economic Effects


The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty cites research indicating that at least 50% of women participating in TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) had experienced domestic violence – more than double the percentage in the general population. At least 25% had experienced violence in the past year



There were 165 domestic violence residential programs licensed by OCFS with a total of 3,033 beds, 9 transitional housing programs with 700 beds, and 5 safe home networks containing 32 safe homes in 2010. (OCFS)


In 2010, 15,570 people received emergency shelter in New York State. Over half of them were children, with 7,133 adults and 8,437 children housed. (OCFS)








There were 14,662 adults and 17,480 children denied shelter in 2010, an 8% increase from 2009. The most common reason cited for denial was “facility at capacity


Slide 8  Health Impact


Women who were sexually assaulted by an intimate partner, compared to women who had been physically, but not sexually abused, had more:


• _Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

• _Pregnancies resulting from rape.

• _Sexually transmitted diseases.

• _Use of alcohol, and illicit drugs

• _Threatened or attempted suicide

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the cost of intimate partner rape, assault, and stalking exceeds $5.8 billion each year, and that:


• _Victims sought mental health services following 33% of intimate partner rapes, 26% of assaults, and 43% of stalking incidents – for an estimated 18.6 million mental health visits.


In 2009, approximately 3,600 women were treated in New York City emergency departments for injuries resulting from intimate partner violence. (DOHMH 2009)


In 2009, more than 600 men were treated in New York City emergency departments for injuries resulting from intimate partner violence. (DOHMH 2009)


In 2010, OASAS substance abuse treatment providers reported that 11% of discharged clients were identified as having been a victim of domestic violence. For the same time period, OASAS substance abuse treatment providers reported that 5% of discharged clients were identified as having been a perpetrator of domestic violence. (OASAS)



Section III (Causes of DV)



Slide 1 Personality Traits/psychological disorders


Commonly aggressive or violent temperaments

Easily made jealous


Poor self-esteem/impulse control


Bipolar Disorder

One spouse wants to gain power and authority in the relationship



Slide 2 Affects of Stress


Financial troubles/ Poverty

Employment/ Unemployment

Issues within the family

Not feeling safe

Health Problems



Slide 3 Upbringing


Abusers often beaten as children

Witnessed domestic violence in the past

Cycles of violence are passed down from generation to generation

Slide 4 Substance abuse



Drinking massive amounts of alcohol regularly

Using drugs heavily

Greatly affects behavior

Inhibits abusers ability to restrain themselves from violent outbreaks



Section IV (Intervention)    E.M.P.O.W.E.R


The intervention name is also our program guiding principals (Read the slide)


Slide 1 Defining the problem


1. Defining the problem:


            Domestic violence is a social problem that leaves the victim in an emotionally, mentally, and physically battered state. Only once the victims are removed or remove themselves from that negative environment, can healing of ones body and mind begin. The problem hence is how to put the pieces back together again once the domestic violence victim is out of the abusive environment and has been exposed to this abuse for extended periods of time.


Slide 2 Target Population


2. Target population:

            With this fact in mind we have chosen to target our intervention towards female (since females are primarily the main people who fall victim to domestic violence) domestic violence victims of any race and age that have been removed from the abusive environment and now reside in a domestic violence shelter.








Slide 3 Theory of change


3. Theory of change:


            Keeping in mind that domestic violence victims, once they have left the abusive relationship, are in a state of emotional and mental degradation from the prolonged abuse both verbal and physical, we have chosen to target the following areas for change:

A) Their perceived view of themselves (because of prolonged exposure to both physical and mental abuse, the victim tends to view themselves in a skewed and diminished light)

  1. By changing the DV victims’ view of themselves they can now visualize a better life for themselves and their children.
  2. Coupled with counseling, the ability to bring the DV victims strengths and weaknesses to light will help them to take an accurate self-inventory of their capabilities.
  3. Once these strengths and weaknesses are realized through a self-inventory, the DV victim can then use these attributes to map out future steps toward a realistic and obtainable future self.

B) Their ability to become self-reliant (during the abusive relationship, DV victims are usually in an environment marked by control. Their abuser wishes to control all aspects of the relationship fostering a sense of need within the victim toward the abuser)

1)    By changing whom a DV victim relies on for everyday survival and then taking that reliance from their abuser and giving it back to themselves.

2)    Coupled with career counseling, giving the DV victim an opportunity to choose a career goal that matches their strengths and weaknesses outlined through their self-inventory, will begin the process of self-reliance.

3)    Once the DV victim has chosen a possible career goal and has mapped out steps for achieving this goal, the DV victim can then take steps toward being primarily self-reliant and hopefully will eventually be able to live a more self-driven life.


Slide 4 Logic model



1. Self Perceptions:

            By allowing a DV victim through self-perceptions to create an accurate inventory of their strengths and weaknesses, à this will then lead to the DV victim assessing where their problems lie and where their strengths can be applied, à which will then lead to a different view of themselves and their abilities from their pre-abuse way of thinking, à which finally will allow them to accurately map out a plan for becoming their future self.


2. Self-Reliance:

            By changing who a DV victim relies on for everyday survival from their abuser to back to themselves, à will allow The DV victim to view themselves as able and capable people, à then choosing a career goal guided by their self-inventory,à will allow the DV victims to map out reasonable and obtainable goals for becoming their future self, à which finally will allow the person to take steps toward being more self-reliant and independent.


Slide 5 Intervention Goals



1. This intervention aims to empower DV victims through altering two cognitive perceptions that have been negatively distorted through the prolonged exposure of mental and physical abuse within an abusive environment.

2. We hope by altering a DV victims negative perceptions of themselves through:

a)     Allowing the DV victims to create a self-inventory of their strengths and weaknesses

b)    Allowing the DV victims to map out problem areas and possible strength applications

c)     Map out possible plan for becoming future self

Will allow the Domestic violence victims to positively alter a previously negative view for themselves and set the stage for self-reliance and independence.


3. We hope by changing the dynamic behind who the DV victims relies on for survival through:

a)     Changing who the DV victim has relied on (the abuser) back to themselves

b)    Mapping out goals for their future-self guided by their self-inventories

c)     Choosing a possible career goal and mapping out steps to achieve that goal

Will allow The Domestic violence victims to switch a previous perception that they had to rely on their abuser and could not survive alone, to a self-perception of empowerment, being an able and capable person, and ideally a person who views themselves as the most important person for them to rely on, which also will foster a sense of self-reliance and independence.


Slide 6 Intervention Design


1. Type of design:

            This will be a mixed methods acute application of participatory action research (PAR) that will have a 5 session, 5 week duration to account for the quick turn around rates that accompany transitional shelters and to limit participant attrition.

2. Participant Recruitment:

Participants will be chosen through a sign up sheet provided by the resident counselor after a short overview of the program’s workings and goals are explained and the participant still shows interest. Once the participants have been recruited, the participants will then be randomly assigned to one of two groups:

a) The experimental group will be given the intervention as well as receive personal and career counseling.

b) The control group will be given only personal and career counseling.

3. Intervention Size and Scope:

            The recruitment will be confined initially to one domestic violence shelter that serves a primarily low income area, and recruitment will cease once 20 participants have been acquired to be divided between the experimental and control groups.

Slide 7 Intervention design cont….

4. Procedure and materials:

            a) At baseline all participants will complete a self-report measure asking demographic information, highest educational level completed, and past job experience if any. (This information will later be used at a starting point for mapping out steps for their future-self)

            b) Participants will also be given a perceived efficacy scale which will capture how the participant 1. Views themselves as an able and capable person, 2. Is a person who is self-reliant and independent.  

Session breakdown:

            -Each session will be conducted each week for a duration of an hour and a half. The participant will also meet with a counselor once a week

            -For the experimental group there will be a total of three facilitators present as well as the resident counselor for extra social support. Two facilitators will each take 5 participants as their primary group, while the third facilitator acts as a guide to explain the intervention, the sessions activity and goal, and run the large group discussion once the participants have finished in their smaller group activity.

First the participants will break into their smaller groups for the first half hour. Each participant with the guidance of their group facilitator, will develop a self-inventory of their major weaknesses and strengths. Once this inventory is completed to the participants satisfaction each participant will share their strengths and weaknesses with their small group, after each participant has shared and received feedback from their peers they will then stay with their list unaltered or incorporate changes that have arisen through group discussion, this share and revise portion will be for another half an hour. Finally the participants will come together as a larger group to participate in a larger group discussion led by the third counselor in which they will discuss their perceptions of themselves. The third facilitator will then wrap up the session with an explanation of what to think about for next weeks session.

Sessions 1 and 2 will focus on creating a self-inventory of strengths and weakness, and end with an emphasis on what each participants strengths are. These two weeks will be coupled with weekly personal counseling sessions.

Sessions 3 and 4 will focus on mapping out tasks and responsibilities that they have had to rely on another person for, using their self-inventory for mapping out goals that they wish to achieve for themselves in the future, finally settling on a goal and devising steps for achieving that goal. These two weeks will be coupled with weekly career counseling.

Session 5 will focus on taking that first step towards active implementation of goal obtainment. Such as enrolling into a job training program, enrolling into classes for obtaining their GED or attending or returning to college. At the end of this session the participants will then be given an opportunity to share their goal, steps toward their goal, and discussing the first step they have taken towards making their goal a reality. The participants will then be given a self-report measure that measures similar attributes of the self-report measure from the first session.


Slide 8 Predicted outcomes   


1. We predict that after the first two weeks, through the personal counseling, self-inventories, and group discussion, that these elements of the intervention will help the participant get an accurate view of their strengths and weaknesses empowering them to start to visualize themselves as a more capable person and enhance their self-efficacy beliefs.

2. We predict that after the third and fourth week, through career counseling, goal identification, and mapping out steps, that these elements of the intervention will allow the participants to view themselves as self-reliant and to ultimately empower them to look away from the past and towards the future as an empty canvas that is full of opportunity if they choose to pursue it.

3. We predict that after the fifth week the participants will view them selves in a more positive light and will empower them to take control of their futures and give them the strength to take the first step towards achieving their future-selves.

4. Finally we believe that the experimental group will have higher and more positive perceptions of themselves determined by comparison of their first and last self-report measures, then the control group and will have a stronger sense of self-reliance which in turn will give them a higher goal achievement rate then their control group counterparts which will be determined by a 6 month follow up to determine progress of the experimental groups goal achievements as opposed to the control groups progress.







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