Understanding Domestic Abuse and the Restorative Process Diploma Name: Amanda Dixey
Student ID: S112909
Assignment No.: FINAL
1. A Female victim confides in you about the extent of the abuse. She feels that she can trust you and admits that they are thinking about getting back together because he ‘has changed’. He has referred himself to counselling, and she believes that he won’t do it again. It is clear that she still has low self-esteem and has not fully completed the restorative process. How would you support her and what is your role? She needs to be made aware of what a healthy relationship is. Someone who has suffered domestic violence does not fully understand what being in a healthy relationship is and unless she understands this, she may slip back into an abusive relationship again. For victims of domestic abuse it is often difficult to put themselves first. It is my role to help her to understand that it is not her fault and that she did not deserve the abuse or cause it in anyway. She should be encouraged to explore why and where the guilt has come from, and why she feels responsible for the abuse. I need to support her to build her self esteem in order for her not to accept a dysfunctional relationship in future. The impact of low self-esteem can be devastating and unless she is supported she may slip into a darker place and turn to substance misuse, get into bad situations or they end up punishing themselves. Her low self esteem can also draw light to her vulnerability and although her partner is going through counselling, unless she changes also they may slip back into their old habits. It is essential to: Be available to talk - Making sure you have privacy and won't be distracted or interrupted to help her feel comfortable. Be supportive - Listen to her. Keep in mind that it may be very hard for her to talk about the abuse. Tell her that she is not alone, and that people want to help. Offer specific help - You might say you are willing to just listen, to help her with childcare etc. if her partner has controlled all the money previously, help her to arrange benefits if needs be. Don't place shame, blame, or guilt on her - Don't say, "You just need to leave." Tell her you understand that her situation is very difficult. Help her make a safety plan - Safety planning includes picking a place to go and packing important items. Although her ex partner maybe trying to get help it is essential that a backup plan is put in place to safeguard her in future. Encourage her to talk to someone who can help - Offer to help her find a local domestic violence agency. Offer to go with her to the agency, the police, or court. If she decides to stay, continue to be supportive - She may decide to stay in the relationship, or she may leave and then go back many times. It may be hard for you to understand, but people stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Encourage her to do things outside of the relationship - It's important for her to see friends and family. If she decides to leave, continue to offer support - Even though the relationship was abusive, she may feel sad and lonely once it is over. She may need help getting services from agencies or community groups. Keep in mind that you can't "rescue" her - She has to be the one to decide it's time to get help. Support her no matter what her decision. Let her know that you will always be there no matter what.
What are the things you would like to see her considering before making big decisions? I would like to consider her focusing on positive characteristics and traits in her life. I would like to see her accepting compliments and challenging herself and stepping out of her comfort zone. It would be nice to see her setting goals and setting challenges for herself everyday to learn new skills. I will encourage her to look her best at all times to build her self esteem and improve her living space to get rid of the negative memories and replace them with positive...
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