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Dupe Akin-Deko, Ph.D. & Meredith Beck-Joslyn, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Dupe Akin-Deko, Ph.D. & Meredith Beck-Joslyn, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Best Practice in Relationship Violence Intervention on a College Campus
Dupe Akin-Deko, Ph.D. & Meredith Beck-Joslyn, Ph.D. Buffalo State College

2 Agenda Review Relationship Violence
Implication for intervention and prevention on College campuses Case Reviews Self Care Wrap-up

3 Defining Relationship Violence
Relationship violence is any kind of abuse that takes place in a relationship or household. It can involve lovers, former spouses, ex-lovers, roommates, etc. Relationship violence is not a singular event but a pattern of assaulting and coercive behavior utilized by the abuser against the victim. Other terms used include Domestic Violence and Intimate partner violence.

4 Types of Abuse Emotional Economic Psychological Sexual
The main purpose of abuse is to maintain power and control!! Five forms of relationship violence exist: Physical Emotional Economic Psychological Sexual

5 Relevant Statistical Data and Information
One in four women will experience relationship violence in her lifetime An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year 24% of IPV homicides are males Females who are years of age are at the greatest risk for intimate partner violence The majority of family violence victims, 74%, are female. Females were 84% of spousal abuse victims and 86% of abuse victims at the hands of a boyfriend

6 Understanding Relationship Violence
Abusive behavior is common in college relationships In a study, 1 in 4 college male student reported battering a previous or current female partner (Silverman and Williamson, 1997) 21% unmarried college women reported having been physically assaulted by a current or previous romantic partner. (Luthra and Gidycz, 2001)

7 Understanding Relationship Violence
Women in dating relationships perpetrate more violence (grabbing, shoving, slapping, throwing things) against their partners than men (Luthra and Gidycz, 2006) Greater percentage of dating partners are psychologically abused than are physically abused Psychological abuse may precede physical abuse

8 Impacts of Relationship Violence
Increased sexual behaviors with multiple partners Suicide attempts Episodic heavy drinking Depression Anxiety Poor Grades Can be an enduring feature of relational pattern

9 Prevention on College Campuses
Workshops Credit bearing courses Clinical groups Classroom presentations

10 Reviewing Interventions
Interventions aimed at preventing the occurrence of dating violence have shown decreased violent behaviors Fostering skills for the development of strong and healthy relationships has been identified as a key target for dating violence prevention. Interventions focused on general relationship skills and partner selection may have larger impact

11 Additional Consideration for Interventions
Normative and/or corrective feedback could be incorporated into interventions to assist students in making healthy, proactive choices Interventions should consider women’s experiences could be as victims, perpetrators, or both

12 Case Study 1 J is a 19 y o junior. She transferred last semester, and home is 5 hours away. Her parents are going through a divorce and everything on the home scene seems to be different and chaotic. She is in love with Greg. They have been going out since she was 16 and he was a big part of why she transferred to this college. He makes her feel very important and loved. Greg is an RA and has a single room. J literarily lives there and spends all her free time with him. There is an assumption that they will marry after college so she finds herself doing his laundry, cooking sometimes, packing breakfast or taking his dinner to him when he is on duty. It used to be fun. She tells him where she is at all times of the day. They call it their ‘checking in time’ even though she is the only one who does it. J knows Greg has a temper and tries not to provoke it. He has never laid hands on her but has broken her stuff in the past; like when she had forgotten to ‘check in’ and went with her study group to Starburst for coffee (he smashed her i-phone) or when she had offered one of his suitemates a bowl of chili (threw and broke her favorite serving bowl her grandma had given her). On occasion, Greg had gone ballistic, called her all sorts of names and accused her of flirting and cheating. His statement, ‘maybe like your mom, you will not be able to keep your home and marriage together’ still stings. He is so confusing. He openly flirts with residents when he is on front desk duty, in the elevator or meets them in the corridor. When she brings it up, he says that it’s part of his job, to get good evaluation, know his residents, and make them comfortable in their environment. This semester, her grades are starting to suffer because in addition to her academic assignments, she is doing a lot of Greg’s assignments and reports. At times she feels trapped. She is not sleeping well and is aware that she is losing weight. She can’t afford to lose him too. She does not really have friends here. When he is happy, he is really such a wonderful person.

13 When a client discloses abuse
Listen to her story in detail and validate her experience Acknowledge her fear, and the risk she takes in speaking with you Recognize and label abusive behavior Treat her feelings of fear, anger and love as legitimate Try to understand the reasons for her choices. Don’t assume her decisions are irrational, or that having been abused means she needs psychotherapy Keep strict confidentiality Leave her in control of decisions that affect her Make safety a high priority

14 Assessing Danger Start from the assumption that an abuser is dangerous. If he has tried to kill her in the past, he is likely to do so again Ask in detail about the risks she faces Try to help your client identify the circumstances under which her partner typically becomes violent.  Trust your client’s judgment. Don’t ask her to substitute your judgment for her own If she seems not to perceive danger which looks real to you, explore why not.  She may be missing some cues of danger or minimizing her partner’s violence because he demands that she do so. Ask how her perception of danger has changed over time, and whether anything has happened recently that changes her assessment This tells her that you take her safety seriously.  Use risk assessment to guide discussions about safety planning around the specific risks identified. If she believes her partner could seriously injure or kill her or her children, try to understand why she thinks so, even if you yourself don’t share her assessment of the risk. 

15 Assessing danger: statistical risk factors
The main risk factors are not psychological, but concrete and behavioral: Separation (especially if it occurred recently) Stalking. Escalation of abuse Threats (to kill her, the children or himself; to take the children) Abuser has access to guns and/or has used weapons in the past Abuser’s use of drugs or alcohol, especially during violent assaults Abuser is depressed or suicidal – this poses a risk to the victim. Victim lacks access to sources of assistance and support – either because of the abusers behavior or for other reasons

16 Safety and treatment planning
Work with the client to evaluate all treatment and discharge plans to determine whether following them might further endanger her or unintentionally reinforce her partner’s control Don’t try to be the expert – the client knows her risks, and her partner, better than anyone Decide how contact between you and her can be handled most safely See individual violent incidents as part of a pervasive, ongoing attempt to control her Look beyond the current crisis and plan for safety during periods of relative calm Identify high-risk situations and make specific plans for each one. This should include: Her partner’s use of tactics that target her specific life situation (such as health or disability issues, sexual orientation, etc.). Ways in which her partner may attempt to interfere with her efforts to get help, for instance demanding to attend her sessions, or texting her during sessions, and how she wants to respond to such interference.

17 Safety and treatment planning (contd)
Identify signals of impending danger as far ahead of the actual violence as possible, so she is more able to avoid violence or escape injury. Take her partner’s threats seriously – especially if he has followed through on past threats. Not put too much stock in her partner’s promises to change – abusers seldom stop just because they say they will. Connect with domestic violence service providers and other resources. Assess the safety implications of interventions by others, such as: A judge imposing a mutual order of protection. Her partner’s therapist pushing for couple counseling. Assess the costs and benefits of calling the police, getting an order of protection, using domestic violence services, or disclosing abuse to friends or family. Rehearse her safety plans, imagine ways they could backfire. For instance, the violence could escalate or there could be legal problems. Help her come up with back-up plans and periodically assess how well her plans are working.

18 In College setting Discuss with team and director
Identify and use peer for emotional support and debriefing Consider implication for following offices: Residence Life Office Judicial Office University Police Dean of Students Academic Departments Pertinent organizations e.g. Athletics, sororities, frats

19 Risk assessment questions
Threats Has he threatened to kill her, the children, other people or pets? Has he threatened suicide? Escalation Is partner’s physical violence getting more frequent or severe? Has client been severely injured? Has she required medical care? Has there been frequent & severe sexual assault? Substances Does he often get high, go on binges, or use illegal drugs? Does he force her to use drugs or alcohol? Does he engage in other risky behavior without regard for consequences, such as dangerous driving? Weapons Does he have access to guns? Has he used weapons to threaten or harm her or other people in the past? Other Risks Are there other circumstances in her life which can make her more vulnerable & decrease her options? Separation Has the couple separated? How recently? If separation has occurred within the past 2 months, be particularly aware of the risk of him killing her. How has he reacted to the separation? Is she planning to leave? Is there an Order of Protection? How has he reacted to the OP?  Has he obeyed it? Obsession Is he obsessed with her? Is he depressed? Is he stalking her? Does he idolize or idealize her? Does he see her as central to his life? Does he feel he owns her? Can he let her go? Isolation Do others know about the violence? Does her partner keep her captive or restrict her contacts with others? Does he deprive her of means of transportation or communication? Batterers who kill themselves often kill their partners and/or children as well.

20 In-depth Case Discussions
Discuss how best to respond to presented case- immediately, the short and long term . Identify the most salient concerns and related response in keeping with best practice. How will your response change if You get information the perpetrator is a heavy AOD user There is access to a weapon Client comes in with new bruises You heard about the situation from one of your clients (a friend of the victim who attends your school) A faculty or staff member who came to consult.

21 Promote Wellness: Quality Supervision
What kinds of peer and other forms of supervision are available to me? How safe do I feel in making use of such resources? What would I need to develop a consultation or supervisory relationship in which I felt able to openly express genuine concerns potentially or actually affecting my work as a therapist? Supervision Supervision is not just for counselors in training. It can help relieve secondary trauma, help provide feedback regarding their wellness and possible impairments. It is important that supervisors understand the importance of their role in providing support and promoting resiliency to therapists working with trauma. Whatever our level of experience, conferring with colleagues or a supervisor can be invaluable in helping us resolve particular matters of concern. Reaching out, especially when the issue is sensitive, is not easy to do. It takes time to develop trust within collegial and supervisor relationships, and even then it can be terribly difficult and painful to risk exposing one’s vulnerabilities. What kinds of peer and other forms of supervision are available to me? How safe do I feel in making use of such resources? What would I need to develop a consultation or supervisory relationship in which I felt able to openly express genuine concerns potentially or actually affecting my work as a therapist?

22 Taking Care of Ourselves at work
Promote Wellness: Taking Care of Ourselves at work Use consultations and supervision regularly Use an interdisciplinary approach Belong to a professional organization Practice risk management Good practice management Continuing education Be involved in your own therapy 1. Be involved in your own therapy 2. Use consultations and supervisions regularly: 3. Use an interdisciplinary approach: Using one approach or theoretical orientation is not sufficient. Different clients have different needs and require a variety of accessible approaches. Successful therapists not only draw from different psychological theories, they also draw from other disciplines such as philosophy, religion, anthropology, mythology, and sociology. 4. Belong to a professional organization: 5. Practice risk management: Stay updated on changing laws and ethical guidelines. Keep excellent records and avoid dual relationships. 6. Good practice management: Take good clinical notes and keep good records. Update the treatment plan regularly. 7. Continuing education: Make an ongoing commitment to invest in broadening your professional horizons. 8. Warn your family members and friends about the hazards of the profession: People who are close to us can often detect burnout symptoms even before we notice them. 9. Be involved in non-professional activities: Develop interests and hobbies that are not related to psychology. 10. Be involved in your community: An important way to break the isolation s to be involved in your own community with schools, local community activities, Little League, educational board, local theater, recycling center, etc. 11. Take time off from your practice or go on vacation: Professional conferences, even in exotic cities, are not to be counted as vacations. They are hard work. 12. Attempt to diversify your friendships: Try to broaden your social contacts beyond psychotherapists and their families. It helps with developing better perspectives and appropriate distance from what we do daily. 13. Separate the therapeutic mode from the familial: It is important to know how to turn off the therapeutic/analytic mode. 14. Create a Balance: strives for general balance between work, intimate relationships, parenthood, community and friends, and solitude. Taking Care Of The Caretaker: How To Avoid Psychotherapists' Burnout (Zur, 2003)

23 Taking Care of Ourselves at Home
Promote Wellness: Taking Care of Ourselves at Home Warn your family members and friends about the hazards of the profession Be involved in non-professional activities Be involved in your community Take time off from your practice or go on vacation Attempt to diversify your friendships Separate the therapeutic mode from family mode Create a Balance

24 Resources Berkel, Furlong, Hickman, Blue; (2005). A Qualitative Examination of Black College Women’s Beliefs About Abuse in Relationships. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36, Coker, Sanderson, Cantu, Huerta, Fadden; (2008). Frequency and Types of Partner Violence Among Mexican American College Women. Journal of American College Health, 56, Daley & Noland; (2001). Intimate Partner Violence in College Students: A Cultural Comparison. The International electronic Journal of Health Education, 4, Niolon, Whitaker, Feder, Campbell, Wallinder, Self-Brown, Chivers; (2009). A Multicomponent Intervention to Prevent Partner Violence Within an Existing Service Intervention. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40, NYS Resources Pearlman, L.A. & MacIan, P.S. (1995). Vicarious traumatization: An empirical study of the effects of trauma work on trauma therapists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26, Schwartz, Magee, Griffin, Dupuis; (2004). Effects of a Group Preventive Intervention on Risk and Protective Factors Related to Dating Violence. Group Dynamics: Theory, Reasearch, and Practice, 8, Stein, Tran, Fisher; (2009). Intimate Partner Violence Experience and Expectations Among College Women in Dating Relationships: Implications for Behavioral Interventions. Violence and Victims, 24,


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