Safe Haven No More: From Inaction to Action

  • The current system fails far too many women and needs new strategies to reduce safety risks and victim endangerment.

  • We need to reshape the intervention processes involved as well as the quality and timing of action to avoid getting trapped in non-action.

  • Critically important is an early identification and evaluation of the threat level (lethality) which can reduce the risk of harm, abuse and the possibility of homicide.

  • By noting the behavior as dangerous (verbal, physical, emotional abuse), the victim can be warned and begin planning coping skills while in the relationship and the safest possible exit strategies.

  • Without a deep and detailed education on the features of Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Battering, the victim could remain in the relationship, fantasizing he will change. Instead, the perpetrator will only get worse over time. Early education will enable her to accurately access her situation and positively impact her actions.

  • Advocates, advisors, mentors and psychologists should be passionately committed to protecting the patient from harm. The goal should include reducing anxiety, stress, tension, fear and PTSD symptoms as soon as possible.

  • The victim’s story and experiences must be accepted as true and not denied if there is to be any improvement. The victim will provide shocking critical details which must be recognized and act as a call to action, not denied or disconnected from.

  • The helper must not try to shift the attention to neutralizing the victim’s experiences. This could leave the victim powerless to keep herself safe in an increasingly threatening relationship.

 

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