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Safety planning for domestic
violence: The VIGOR and
other family-centered
approaches
Sherry Hamby
Sewanee, the University...
2
Question:
Why is safety planning for
domestic violence an important
consideration for child
advocates?

3
% abused

Answer: Child abuse and Domestic
(Partner) violence are very closely linked

All odds ratios control for several...
REALLY closely linked!

Sexual abuse by
known adult & DV

Psychological abuse
& DV

Neglect & DV

Hamby, Finkelhor, Turner...
6
Q: What is Important to Know
about Families Where Both Child
Abuse and DV are Happening?

7
% custodial interference

#1: Leaving is not always safer!
Custodial Interference & WPV

72% of family abductions occurred...
A. Personal Physical Risks




56% of attempted IP homicides are precipitated by
victim leaving or saying she would leav...
10
Q: What Are Pros & Cons of
Current Dangerousness
Assessment & Safety Planning?

11
Pros of Current Strategies






Comprehensive lists of risks of perpetrator
danger (recommend Campbell’s Dangerousness...
Cons for the Current State of
Safety Planning







Too much focus on physical risk just from
perpetrator (ignores vi...
Need a Family-Centered Approach




Programs for battered women, in shelters and
elsewhere, still do not pay enough atte...
15
Question: What is a More
Family-Centered,
Comprehensive Approach?
The VIGOR: Multiple
Criteria Decision Making
for Domestic Violence

17
Types of Problems Addressed with
MCDM










Selecting routes for nuclear waste transport
(Chen, Wang, & Lin, 200...
What Do These Problems Have in
Common with Family Violence?







Multiple facets to the problem
“Success” can be eva...
How to Apply MCDM to
Domestic Violence:
The VIGOR
(Victim Inventory of
Goals, Options, & Risks)
20
Using MCDM Principles to Create the
VIGOR: Victim Inventory of Goals,
Options, & Risks






6 other experienced advoca...
VIGOR Step 1: Identify Women’s
Risks & Priorities

22
Physical Risks Posed to Others


Concern for others can constrain coping:








Children
Family members
Friends—e...
Financial Risks




Financial dependence is often the most
commonly mentioned reason for staying
(e.g., Cruz, 2003).
Man...
Legal Risks











Dual arrests are on the rise
(Hirschel & Buzawa, 2002)
Arrest of batterer unlikely to lead
to...
Social Risks


Stigma—Almost all of the social
statuses associated with leaving a
violent relationship are stigmatized:
...
Other risks


Personal & psychological risks










Loneliness
Sense of failure
Perceived loss of fealty to reli...
“Derivative losses”




In the broader world of risk management,
these types of risks are known as
“derivative losses” (...
Sample Risk Assessment
Risk category

Your risks

Primary concern?
(Y/N)

Personal safety
Safety of others (ex.,
children,...
Step 1: Identify Risks
60
53.4
50

47.6

46.6

44.7

40

27.2

30
20

27.2

Lose
custody

Family
rejection

16.5

10
0
Fea...
Step 2: Identify Strengths
60

54.4
48.5

50

45.6
41.7

41.7

40.8

39.8

Have
friends

Shelter

Personal
Strength

Have ...
If you only remember one thing:
Assess strengths!






“This was a great help to me just in writing
these things down...
Step 3: Identify Women’s Options








“Traditional” advocacy services: shelters, OPs, support
groups, physical safe...
Step 3: Identify Options. More
than 133 identified!
60
50
40
30
20

49

47.1
37.3

35.3

31.4

31.4

30.4

29.4

25.5

23....
Step 4: Make Choices Based on
Risk Priorities & Options






In MCDM, an option has “strict dominance” if it is
better...
Client Perceptions of the VIGOR
VIGOR 1

VIGOR 2

100
90

90

80

80

70

70

60

%

100

60

50

50

40

40

30

30

20

...
Other More Holistic & FamilyCentered Approaches






Woman-Defined Advocacy (Jill Davies)
Strategic Safety Planning (L...
Questions From
Listeners?

38
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Vigor ncac-webinar-with-questions-2013

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Vigor ncac-webinar-with-questions-2013

  1. 1. Safety planning for domestic violence: The VIGOR and other family-centered approaches Sherry Hamby Sewanee, the University of the South Webinar for the National Children’s Advocacy Center, June 26, 2013. Contact: sherry.hamby@sewanee.edu
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. Question: Why is safety planning for domestic violence an important consideration for child advocates? 3
  4. 4. % abused Answer: Child abuse and Domestic (Partner) violence are very closely linked All odds ratios control for several demographics and have Zhang & Yu correction applied
  5. 5. REALLY closely linked! Sexual abuse by known adult & DV Psychological abuse & DV Neglect & DV Hamby, Finkelhor, Turner, & Ormrod, 2010 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. Q: What is Important to Know about Families Where Both Child Abuse and DV are Happening? 7
  8. 8. % custodial interference #1: Leaving is not always safer! Custodial Interference & WPV 72% of family abductions occurred in WPV homes!
  9. 9. A. Personal Physical Risks   56% of attempted IP homicides are precipitated by victim leaving or saying she would leave (Farr, 2002). NVAWS data also show violence persists after leaving. From Tjaden & Thoennes, 9 1998
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. Q: What Are Pros & Cons of Current Dangerousness Assessment & Safety Planning? 11
  12. 12. Pros of Current Strategies    Comprehensive lists of risks of perpetrator danger (recommend Campbell’s Dangerousness Assessment for this). Many safety planning suggestions accumulated from advocates’ experiences (National Domestic Violence Hotline website is representative). Easy to use 12
  13. 13. Cons for the Current State of Safety Planning     Too much focus on physical risk just from perpetrator (ignores violent neighborhoods, homelessness, etc). Little guidance on dealing with the financial, legal, and social risks faced by virtually all battered women. Generic lists—not personalized Doesn’t reflect the complexities that providers see every day. Leaves advocates to figure out how to do this on their own, one at a time, over and over again. 13
  14. 14. Need a Family-Centered Approach   Programs for battered women, in shelters and elsewhere, still do not pay enough attention to the needs of children, despite the fact that many shelters actually house more children than they do adults (because many women have multiple children). Child protection programs can likewise do more to recognize that there are multiple victims in many families and can benefit from a more family-centered, collaborative approach. 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. Question: What is a More Family-Centered, Comprehensive Approach?
  17. 17. The VIGOR: Multiple Criteria Decision Making for Domestic Violence 17
  18. 18. Types of Problems Addressed with MCDM       Selecting routes for nuclear waste transport (Chen, Wang, & Lin, 2008). Promoting recycling (Gomes et al., 2008) Understanding stock trading (Albadvi et al., 2007) Deciding best locations for emergency vehicles (Araz et al., 2007) Understanding “medical tourism”—when people will decide to have surgery abroad (Bies & Zacharia, 2007) …and dozens of other applications in environmental sciences, engineering, agriculture, and finance 18 (Hajkowicz, 2008)
  19. 19. What Do These Problems Have in Common with Family Violence?     Multiple facets to the problem “Success” can be evaluated on multiple criteria Not all criteria easily evaluated with dollars or some other uniform metric—involve value judgements (originally developed as an alternative to cost-benefit analysis). Multiple options to choose from, and these options vary in how well they meet different criteria. 19
  20. 20. How to Apply MCDM to Domestic Violence: The VIGOR (Victim Inventory of Goals, Options, & Risks) 20
  21. 21. Using MCDM Principles to Create the VIGOR: Victim Inventory of Goals, Options, & Risks    6 other experienced advocates reviewed the VIGOR and provided extensive feedback, paid $100 honorarium. 2 pilot studies, each with approx 100 individuals who have been victims of battering Students in an undergraduate research seminar helped further streamline and simplify the wording. 21
  22. 22. VIGOR Step 1: Identify Women’s Risks & Priorities 22
  23. 23. Physical Risks Posed to Others  Concern for others can constrain coping:       Children Family members Friends—especially those who offer shelter Pets Others, such as coworkers, advocates, etc. Ex: Across 6 studies, 48% of women in shelters reported their pets had been harmed, 45% said they had been threatened, and 26% said the welfare of their pets delayed their decision to leave (Hamby, in press). 23
  24. 24. Financial Risks   Financial dependence is often the most commonly mentioned reason for staying (e.g., Cruz, 2003). Many areas of potential loss:         Lower standard of living Loss of savings Cannot afford neighborhoods with low crime or good schools Would have to drop out of own schooling Job loss Loss of health insurance Loss of car/transportation Doesn’t have security deposit, rent, furniture for even a terrible 24 apartment in a terrible neighborhood.
  25. 25. Legal Risks       Dual arrests are on the rise (Hirschel & Buzawa, 2002) Arrest of batterer unlikely to lead to jail time—will be back home & madder than ever If disclose abuse to authorities, may be reported to CPS for “exposing” children to dv D-I-V-O-R-C-E risks Risks losing custody of children Risks unfair divorce settlement 25
  26. 26. Social Risks  Stigma—Almost all of the social statuses associated with leaving a violent relationship are stigmatized:       “victim” “divorced” “single mother” Loss of friendships, extended family, support of minister/congregants Children’s loss of friends, schools, sports May stigmatize entire family in 26
  27. 27. Other risks  Personal & psychological risks       Loneliness Sense of failure Perceived loss of fealty to religious values Deportation Victims with disabilities and elderly victims may lose needed assistance with self-care, health care Members of oppressed minority groups may not receive equal treatment by law enforcement or human service providers. 27
  28. 28. “Derivative losses”   In the broader world of risk management, these types of risks are known as “derivative losses” (Jiang & Haimes, 2004) and are common after many types of catastrophic events, such as terrorist attack, war, or natural disaster. Can have a cascading effect, “which may be far greater than the initial loss inflicted by the direct disturbance” (Jiang & Haimes, 2004, p 1215). 28
  29. 29. Sample Risk Assessment Risk category Your risks Primary concern? (Y/N) Personal safety Safety of others (ex., children, family, pets) Financial risks (ex., insufficient income, health insurance, need safe housing) Legal risks (ex., custody, CPS, immigr ation, problems with law enforcement) Social risks (ex, rejection by family, church, community) Other 29
  30. 30. Step 1: Identify Risks 60 53.4 50 47.6 46.6 44.7 40 27.2 30 20 27.2 Lose custody Family rejection 16.5 10 0 Fear of Fear partner Financially Concern for Lack Social physical will murder insecure children* Support harm to self them *Concern for children includes concern for their physical, emotional, and social well-being 30
  31. 31. Step 2: Identify Strengths 60 54.4 48.5 50 45.6 41.7 41.7 40.8 39.8 Have friends Shelter Personal Strength Have a job 40 30 20 10 0 Family support Church Religious Community faith *Personal strength refers to a sense of being capable and having the ability to persevere. 31
  32. 32. If you only remember one thing: Assess strengths!     “This was a great help to me just in writing these things down, “seeing” it on paper aided me in recognizing my accomplishments and what I yet need to do!” “Helped me see different options I may have.” “I liked thinking about my strengths.” “I liked having to think and acknowledge my strengths and options—made me hopeful.” 32
  33. 33. Step 3: Identify Women’s Options     “Traditional” advocacy services: shelters, OPs, support groups, physical safety planning Need to expand our toolkit. A better appreciation of risks will help focus on other needs—financial planning, job training, dealing with a stigmatized identity, talking with family members, clergy Also need to re-think our time frame—many options cannot realistically be implemented in the 30 or 60 or 90 days allowed to stay in shelter. In the VIGOR studies, women identified 133 different options! (Battered Women’s Protective Strategies: 33 Stronger Than You Know, due Nov 2013).
  34. 34. Step 3: Identify Options. More than 133 identified! 60 50 40 30 20 49 47.1 37.3 35.3 31.4 31.4 30.4 29.4 25.5 23.5 19.6 18.6 10 0 34
  35. 35. Step 4: Make Choices Based on Risk Priorities & Options    In MCDM, an option has “strict dominance” if it is better than others on some criteria, and at least as good on all others. The result: NOT a generic checklist of safety precautions, BUT a personalized plan that links coping responses to specific risks. Fleeing on an emergency basis with few belongings and possibly not even with your children, will not minimize many risks faced by 35 typical battered women.
  36. 36. Client Perceptions of the VIGOR VIGOR 1 VIGOR 2 100 90 90 80 80 70 70 60 % 100 60 50 50 40 40 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 Helpul to most More helpful than past safety planning Helpul to most More helpful than past safety planning 36
  37. 37. Other More Holistic & FamilyCentered Approaches    Woman-Defined Advocacy (Jill Davies) Strategic Safety Planning (Lindhorst, Macy, & Nurius) Relationship-centered Advocacy (Goodman & Epstein)   All of these are good at holistic approach but more informally than VIGOR (for ex, as interview) Computerized Safety Decision Aid (Glass et al)  Goes beyond generic list, less comprehensive 37
  38. 38. Questions From Listeners? 38

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