Programs that provide temporary emergency shelter for individuals, primarily women, who have experienced domestic violence/abuse, and for their children. Such facilities usually provide in-house individual, group and family counselling and the full range of secondary services related to domestic violence including referral to appropriate resources. Also included are similar facilities for battered men and those that can accommodate both men and women, where they are available.
Programs that offer classes or groups, sponsor victim panels or provide other interventions which help domestic violence offenders understand and take responsibility for their acts of violence and abuse; realize that their behaviour is the result of their desire to gain power and control over their partner's life; and make a decision to stop their abuse by looking at the damaging effects of their actions on their relationships, partners, children and themselves. The group sessions address the tactics of power and control; describe the cycle of abuse; challenge stereotypical gender role expectations; and help abusers identify and articulate their feelings and recognize behaviour, emotional and physical cues which signal escalating anger. Participants learn problem solving skills, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, stress management techniques, communication and listening skills and other skills that will help them develop and maintain positive, healthy partnerships; and may be ordered by the court to attend or self-refer. The victim panels provide a venue which enables volunteers who have been subjected to abuse to describe the treatment they have endured and the impact on their lives.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of individuals by their spouses or partners through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on the likely victims of abuse, potential perpetrators, people who work with families and/or the community at large.
Programs that provide information and guidance and/or representation in court proceedings for individuals who have been abused in an intimate relationship and/or for people who are facing a misdemeanour or criminal charge for perpetrating abuse. Included are domestic violence law clinics and other legal assistance programs that represent victims of domestic abuse at restraining order hearings or in other civil or criminal actions involving charges against an abuser. Most also represent the person's interests in complexities that arise as part of the legal process such as restitution, payment of debts or child support, custody and visitation and property control. Some programs may also represent victims of domestic abuse who have been charged with a crime and/or handle cases involving accusations of child abuse filed by one parent against the other, abuse of an elderly person by an adult child or abuse of an adult child by a parent.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for women and men who have experienced domestic abuse which may include steps to ensure the person's safety; short-term emotional support; assistance with shelter; legal information and advocacy; referrals for medical treatment; ongoing counselling and/or group support; and other related services. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.