Families Affected by Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence has become too common in our communities. Moving from generation to generation, fueled by increasing social acceptance of violence as part of life, and often used as the one place that some can find power and control, Domestic violence is as dangerous and frightening as the life threatening diseases we fear in our world today.
This curriculum is offered for those who wish to provide families and adults with the skills, concepts and resources to prevent domestic violence. It also provides for those working with perpetrators and victims along with the mandated programs in most United States cities. We are including concepts and strategies that are of particular use for families in military and law enforcement â€“ where special circumstances make it even harder for a victim to be safe and for perpetrators to be stopped and directed to help. The content is adaptable for a 10 week prevention program from 20 to 30 hours in length and it can be used for perpetrators either subsequent to the California mandated 52 week perpetrator course or concurrent with any other treatment.
Those of us developing this model have worked extensively with battered wives, perpetrators of domestic violence and child abuse, and with families looking for ways to avoid the cycle of violence and build relationships based on respect and equality.
We have taken our curriculum to Shelter homes, jails, military stockades, court ordered individuals and families, and to various cultural and geographical communities. In Santa Clara County, California, the Family Court orders victims into counseling or courses as part of the strategy to break the cycle of violence â€“ using the danger of child abuse to force the care giving parent to get help. The theory, content, skills and resources included here have been used successfully for over 23 years through our Family Wellness Program.
Finally, we know that there are two prevailing theories around domestic violence. The first is that 75% of the cases of domestic violence will never be stopped and that the victim (usually a woman) needs to be helped to safely get away from the perpetrator. The second is that close to 85% of families with domestic violence stay together and that any support, training, or involvement by outside resources can make it safer at the very least. Because we believe that skills and supports can make a difference we have spent much of our time developing realistic, blue collar skills and courses to help those family members who will come to training rather than lose their families. Realistically, we also provide immediate safety plans for anyone attending our training.
This manual is meant to be used as an addendum to the Family Wellness Instructor Manual and is to be used by certified Family Wellness Instructors. It is not intended to be the sole source of information for a training class. It is highly recommended that Certified Instructors attend the two day Advanced Instructor Training.