Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Facts

Special Considerations

Treatment and Interventions

Safety planning is an important aspect of any intervention for IPV. This might include keeping a list of important telephone numbers close at hand; telling family, friends, neighbors, etc. about the abuse so they can call the police if they hear angry or violent noises; determining exit points from the home, and practicing routes to exit quickly and safely; identifying safe areas of the home; removing weapons from the home; putting together a bag of items you need, such as money, keys, medicines, papers and documents; identifying places to go if you left home; open a bank account in your name, get a cell phone for your own use

Initially, separate group or individual therapy for the victim and abuser are recommended as the treatment of choice.

The goals of individual therapy for victims include: education, safety planning, addressing issues of responsibility, examining fears, addressing beliefs and values, building strengths and resources, building conflict management skills, increasing coping and interpersonal skills

Many women find support groups helpful, often in addition to or instead of individual therapy. These are intervention groups that are led by a professional, and which provide women with an opportunity to share their experiences and wisdom, as well as seeking information from the group leader and other members

For couples that plan to remain together, a sequenced approach may be appropriate. In this situation, AFTER both parties have engaged in individual or group therapy separately, and AFTER they have contracted for nonviolence in their home, the couple might begin couples therapy. The goals of this type of therapy would include: focusing on safety, examining fears, addressing issues of responsibility together, and deconstructing violent moments.

These facts came from the Feminist Majority Foundation at http://www.feminist.org/other/dv/dvfact.html; the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/ipvfacts.htm; and the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, http://www.ndvh.org.