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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201442 Find in a Library
Title: Shelters and Other Community-Based Services for Battered Women and Their Children (From Sourcebook on Violence Against Women, P 247-260, 2001, Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel K. Bergen, eds. -- See NCJ-201429)
Author(s): Cris M. Sullivan; Tameka Gillum
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview; Program/Project Description
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter reviews the development of shelters and other community-based services for battered women in the United States over the past 25 years, as well as the emergence of programs for children of battered women.
Abstract: The first shelters for women who had been abused by their partners developed out of the feminist movement of the 1970's, during which consciousness-raising groups led to women talking, often for the first time, about the abuse they were experiencing in their homes. Feminists, community activists, and formerly battered women began organizing to develop new ways to meet the needs of battered women and to define the problem of what came to be called "domestic violence." Early shelters were often the private homes of women who opened them to battered women and their children; none initially relied on governmental funding. Currently, most shelter stays for victims begin with a telephone call from a woman who has either just been assaulted or who knows she is in imminent danger of being assaulted. The staff person or volunteer who answers the call is trained to assess the immediacy of the situation, to provide emotional support and understanding, and to arrange for the woman to come directly to the shelter, to receive medical services at a hospital, or to go to the home of a friend or relative. If the shelter is selected as the best option, arrangements are made for the woman to get to the shelter safely. Although most shelters allow all children under either age 12 or 14 to stay with their mothers, some ask that women find other accommodations for their male adolescents. The typical maximum stay at a shelter is 30 days. During their stay, women are provided counselor advocates who work individually with women to identify the family's needs and help in any way possible. Women are always informed about their legal rights and are assisted in obtaining personal protection orders if they so desire. Safety plans are discussed. In response to the need for culturally specific services for survivors of domestic violence, an increasing number of shelters are being specifically designed by and for women from their own communities. A common intervention program for children exposed to domestic violence is the domestic violence support and education group, which uses an age-appropriate curriculum. Many services for battered women and their children are being offered within a variety of systems throughout communities, not just within domestic violence shelters. Programs are increasing in health care settings, in police stations and prosecutors' offices, in family service organizations, and on college campuses. If the past is any indication for the future, domestic violence victim support services will continue to develop and expand to meet the changing needs of women and children who have and are experiencing violence in their homes. 36 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Children at risk; Children of battered women; Crisis shelters; Domestic assault; Shelters for Battered Women; Victim services; Victims of violent crime
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