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ETHICS IN PROVIDING SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Annual Conference March 1, 2012 Eugenia (Jennie) Barr,

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Presentation on theme: "ETHICS IN PROVIDING SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Annual Conference March 1, 2012 Eugenia (Jennie) Barr,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ETHICS IN PROVIDING SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Annual Conference March 1, 2012 Eugenia (Jennie) Barr, Ph.D. Crime Victim Services Division Office of the Attorney General

2 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES Understand the Concept of Ethical Integrity Review Victim Service and Related Codes of Ethics Identify Professional Behavior of Victim Services Personnel in Various Settings Explore Ethical Dilemmas Working with Sexual Assault Victims and How to Manage Them Appropriately in the Field Learn the Ethics of Professional Self Care

3 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES PART ONE ETHICAL INTEGRITY AND PROFESSIONALISM "Relativity applies to physics, not ethics" Albert Einstein

4 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICS RELATED TO… Diversity Forensic/Medical Prevention Criminal Justice Volunteers

5 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES DEFINITIONS ETHICS – Systems of moral values ETHICAL INTEGRITY – Moral or ethical strength PROFESSIONAL ETHICS – Sets of standards, based on proven and sound principles of conduct and quality of service, created from within a profession as a means of articulating what constitutes excellence in the field (aka, Professional Codes of Ethics)

6 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES VALUES IN VICTIM SERVICES Competence, including Multicultural Integrity Professional Responsibility Respect for Peoples Rights and Dignity Concern for Others Welfare Social Responsibility

7 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES CODES OF ETHICS Victim Services Code of Ethics (NVASC) Mental Health Codes of Ethics Licensed Professional Counselors Licensed Social Workers Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists Licensed Psychologists Other Professional Codes of Ethics Law Enforcement (police, sheriffs, troopers) Criminal Justice (lawyers, judges, probation/parole) Nonprofits (TAASA) Healthcare (nursing, physicians )

8 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES KEY ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS Dual Relationships Confidentiality, Exceptions and Duty to Warn Informed Consent Confidential Privilege Protection from Civil Liability Legal Advocacy vs. Legal Advice

9 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR OF VICTIM SERVICES PERSONNEL Boundaries Prejudgments Character and Virtue Moral Orientations Spirituality Truth or Consequences Individual Rights vs. Good of Community Voice of Justice vs. Voice of Caring Ethics and Self-Awareness

10 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES PART TWO ETHICAL CHALLENGES, DILEMMAS, AND ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

11 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL CHALLENGES IN PROVIDING VICTIM SERVICES Competing Priorities: Personal and Professional Conflicts of Interest Multicultural Competency In order to share Ethical Standards: System-Based Providers Community-Based Providers Complementary, not Contradictory Roles Difference in Applicability of Ethical Standards

12 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL DILEMMAS Mental Attitudes that Inhibit Ethical Dilemma Resolution Dogmatism Rationalization Relativism Passivity

13 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL DILEMMAS Problem Solving Ineffective Approaches to Problem Solving False Dilemmas Rigid Patterns of Thinking Effective Solutions to Problem Solving Brainstorming Reframing Preventive Ethics

14 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL DILEMMAS Communication Effective Communication on Ethics Agendas and goals be clearly stated Avoidance of oppressive behavior and silencing Honesty and individual responsibility Respect for everyone Commitment to resolving the conflict Focus on specific sources of concern Clarity of point of view Sufficient time to work through the problem Openness to new ideas Recognition of unearned privileges

15 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL STANDARDS EXERCISE Scenarios Where Adherence to a Standard: Is a Personal Challenge Creates a Conflict Is Prevented or Challenged

16 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL DECISION MAKING Ethical Decision Making is a Skill to be Acquired 1.Assessment of the facts 2.Identification of relevant ethical standards 3.Practical concerns that impact decision making 4.Assess possible courses of action 5.Consequences of various courses of action 6.Consultation with a peer or supervisor 7.Selection of best option 8.Evaluation of the outcome

17 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL DILEMMAS Case Studies Scenarios from NVASC Code of Ethics Scenarios from Participants

18 ETHICS IN VICTIM SERVICES ETHICAL SELF CARE Victim Services Personnel, repeat after me Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries Know where you end and a victim/survivor or client begins Know how personal history affects ability to work with victims Do your own work, know your biases and values on sex, power, gender, orientation, etc. Know difference between enmeshment and empowerment Balance in personal and professional life

19 THANK YOU Eugenia (Jennie) Barr, Ph.D. Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services Crime Victim Services Division Office of the Attorney General (512)


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