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"I made him HIT me!" Strategies for Battered Women
Battered Women continuing education MFT CEUs

Section 20
Support Versus Therapy

CEU Question 20 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Domestic Violence
Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

The Wilder women’s groups are typically facilitated by professional, credentialed staff who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The majority of our staff have been educated and trained in psychology, counseling Battered Women psychology continuing educationsocial work, counseling, women’s studies, or similar disciplines. We have also had staff with no degrees but with life experiences and personal strengths that made them a valued resource to our participants. Since the start of the program, we have also used student interns from the local colleges, community volunteers, and other professionals.

Many ideas exist about the issue of counseling versus therapy for battered women. Some positions on this issue follow.

One position suggests that when women who have been abused are told they need counseling, therapy, or treatment, the implication is that there is something wrong with them. Saying women need counseling places blame or responsibility on the woman for the man’s violence; it suggests that if the woman would change her behavior, she would stop being abused. Certainly this position warrants serious consideration. The last thing that anyone working with women who have been abused would want to perpetuate is the myth that the victim has something to do with her partner’s abuse.

A second position suggests that women who seek counseling for being victims of male battering may be (and have been) labeled with a clinical mental health diagnosis or other stigmatizing labels, which can have potentially serious ramifications. For example, in some instances a woman may not be eligible for life or medical insurance if she has had a certain diagnosis related to being abused. One can easily see how a woman may be re-victimized for a crime that has been committed against her.

Women who have been battered and have sought counseling have also had to defend themselves in the courts. Perpetrators have used the courts and legal counsel to question the stability or suitability of the woman who has received professional psychiatric or therapeutic assistance. It has also been suggested that the woman has a weakness or deficiency in her character, as evidenced by her seeking counseling.

There have also been cases in which the woman’s parenting or coping skills are questioned because she has received counseling. The children are usually caught in the middle in these cases. The courts may often be unaware or unenlightened about the extent of the violence that has occurred.

Grass Roots Versus Professional Approaches
Another issue has been a “grass-roots” versus a “professional” approach toward serving battered women. The discussion revolves around who is more qualified or knowledgeable to work with victims of abuse.

Yet another debate is what services should receive emphasis: shelter and advocacy or counseling and therapy.

Unfortunately, many of these discussions have pitted women against women, “grass-roots” women advocates against women who are “professional” counselors and therapists. The outcome of these discussions is unknown. Hopefully the listening and learning will continue, and battered women will reap the rewards of this difficult work.
- Journey Beyond Abuse. Fischer, Kay-Laurel & Michael F. McGrane. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation: Saint Paul. 1997.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.


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Personal Reflection Exercise #6
The preceding section discussed support versus therapy for battered women. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 20
What drawback is there to suggesting a battered woman seek counseling? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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A domestic violence bill named for a woman who was shot and killed by her boyfriend is now law. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure known as Britny's Law on Tuesday.
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A bill in the State Senate rules committee would help families of domestic violence homicide victims seek first degree murder charges.
Human Trafficking In North Carolina - August 11, 2016
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‘The State Of Things’ Producer Picks: A Look Back At 2015 With Anita Rao - December 22, 2015
The year is coming to an end, and “The State of Things” staff is taking a moment to reflect on some of the year’s most memorable conversations. Producer Anita Rao’s favorite segments include a conversation commemorating Yusor Abu-Salha , one of the three Muslim students shot and killed in Chapel Hill in February. Rao also chose a piece that explores body image, fat shaming, and the social history of women’s bodies . She also picked a segment that shares the stories of three Latina women who work as house cleaners in Durham , and one that looks at how domestic violence impacted one couple’s life and relationship . She ends the hour talking about a conversation with Avett Brothers’ Cellist Joe Kwon . Host Frank Stasio talks with Producer Anita Rao about her favorite conversations of the year.
Marine Turned Entrepreneur Uses Technology To Reduce Violence - November 30, 2015
This is a rebroadcast of a program that aired earlier this year . CJ Scarlet is an entrepreneur who believes that technology can curb violence. She founded the company 10 for Humanity that aims to use emerging technology to reduce acts of crime and violence by 10 percent in the next decade, starting with the Tiger Eye Sensor , a wearable personal security device that will record video footage and call the police when a wearer yells “help.” Scarlet’s personal and professional experiences have informed the design and implementation of this sensor. She survived multiple assaults in her adolescence and early adulthood and has worked with victims of crime and assault for two decades, as a victims advocate and as the director of victim’s issues at the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office . She is full of unexpected stories, ranging from her experience as a firefighter to her day-to-day life as a photojournalist for the Marine Corps. Host Frank Stasio talks to CJ Scarlet about her life,

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