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Utilizing Solution Focused Brief Therapy with Domestic Violence Survivors

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Utilizing Solution Focused Brief Therapy with Domestic Violence Survivors
Introduction Domestic violence is one of the most pressing issues facing social workers today. It occurs between individuals of all ages and nationalities, at all socioeconomic levels, and in families from all types of religious and non-religious backgrounds (Straus & Gelles, 1990; Carter & McGoldrick, 1999). Domestic violence remains a significant social and public health problem affecting not just the couple but the entire family as well. Increased parental conflict negatively impacts children’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional functioning and the parents’ well being (Carlson, 2000; Carter & McGoldrick, 1999; Lyon, 1998). The overall rate of incident has been found to be similar for city, suburban, and rural communities (Straus & Gelles, 1990). According to Carter and McGoldrick (1999), violence is a widespread occurrence in families throughout the life cycle in our society as it is in all other patriarchal cultures. The World Health Organization (2002) cited a study brought together population surveys in 48 countries, which indicated that 10-69% of women reported experiencing physical violence from a male partner at some stage in their life. In the United States, approximately 4.8 million acts of physical or sexual violence are perpetrated against women; while 2.9 million physically aggressive acts are committed against men each year (Straus & Gelles, 1990).

The Population

Domestic Violence is the most widespread form of violence in the United States and is the major cause of injury to women. In the United States a woman is beaten every nine seconds (Kosof, 1995). According to the first major study of battered women, conducted in 1976, women experienced physical assault in nearly one third of all American families (Kosof, 1995). Every year, an estimated three to four million women in the United States were beaten in their homes by a husband, ex-husband, or male lover (Kosof, 1995). Twenty percent of hospital emergency room



References: Andrews, A. B. (1996). Developing community systems for the primary prevention of family violence. Family and Community Health, 16(4), 1-9. Beeman, S. K., Hagemeister, A. K., Y Edelson, J. L. (1999). Child protection and battered women’s services: From conflict to collaboration. Child Maltreatment, 4(2), 116-126. Carlson, B. E. (2000). Children exposed to intimate partner violence: Research findings and implications for intervention. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 1(4), 321-342. Carter, B., & McGoldrick, M. (Eds.). (1999). The expanded family life cycle individual, family, and social perspectives (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Cooper, M. & Lesser, J. (2008). Clinical social work practice: An integrated approach (3rd ed.). Massachusetts: Ally & Bacon. Corsini, R. J. & Wedding, D. (2008). Current psychotherapies (8th Ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Gardner, H. W. & Kosmitzki, C. (2008). Lives across cultures: Cross cultural human development (4th edition). Boston, MA: Person/Allyn & Bacon. Holden, W. E., & Nabors, L. (1999). The prevention of child neglect. In H. Dubowitz (Ed). Neglected children: Research, practice and policy (pp. 174-190). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kaufman Kantor, G., & Straus, M. A. (1999, December). Report on the USAF Family Needs Screener. Durham, NH: Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. Kosof, A. (1995). Battered women living with the enemy. New York: Franklin Watts. Lyon, T. D. (1998). Are battered women bad mothers? In H. Dubowitz (Ed.), Neglected children, Research, practice and policy (pp. 237-260). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lee, M. Y. (2007). Discovering strengths and competencies in female domestic violence survivors: An application of Roberts’ continuum of the duration and severity of women battering. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 7(2), 102-114. Solution –Focused Brief therapy from a global context. (2003). Retrieved November 10, 2008 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz4-Dj6sguw. Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (Eds.). (1990). Physical violence in the American families: Risk factors and adaptation to family violence in 8,145 families. New Jersey: Transaction. Trepper, T. S., Dolan, Y., & McCollum, T.N. (2006). Steve De Shazer and the future of solution-focused therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32, 133-139. The Urban Child Institute. (2008). Family Violence Community Resource Guide. World Health Organization. (2002). World report on violence and health: Summary. Geneva: Author.

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