I AM A SOCIAL WORKER
I STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Social workers have a fundamental role in the contribution to the democratization of social relations between men and women, to ...implement strategies to avoid violence against women and children (http://ifsw.org/policies/women/)
Domestic violence is one of the most common problems that social workers deal with but in many countries the problem can seem to be so entrenched and resources so limited that they may feel they have little to offer in changing things. A disempowered or burnt out social worker is of little use to a victim of domestic violence, or for that matter, to a perpetrator and so our theme this month is on the empowerment of social workers in tackling domestic violence.
To begin, watch our conversation video, and join in the conversation about many of the issues these social workers raise. Expressing your own voice against domestic violence is an act of self-empowerment - so go self-empower! If you have survivors' stories to share post them on our Survivor's Blog Spot (surviving abuse is a testament to human resilience that we can all learn from) and follow our Facebook and social media pages - repost if you can. Also, read some of the information available to you on this page and elsewhere on this and other websites, not only will you be informed by some of the most up-to-date research, policy and practice, you will feel emboldened by the amazing activists out there. Remember, there are amazing activists close to home too - find out who they are, what they are doing and how you can get involved. Joining progressive alliances against domestic violence will lessen the isolation and frustration you may be feeling in your professional role.
Domestic violence is endemic across the globe and its consequences affect women, children and men in ways that are complex and deeply destructive and which can be literally life threatening. Because social workers work in a multiplicity of settings this means they also have multiple opportunities to contribute to the prevention of domestic violence and to work with its victims. The diagram below illustrates this well.
The role of social workers in tackling domestic violence includes but is not limited to:
- assessing risk
- providing counselling and support services to survivors
- helping victims access justice
- ensuring safety of victims and children
- providing interventions to perpetrators
- providing evidence for criminal proceedings
- education and advocacy
- providing policy and programming advice
Wherever you work as a social worker, it is crucial that you understand what an effective response to domestic violence is and what you need to do when you encounter someone who is at risk of interpersonal violence. The information you can access through some of the links we provide is a great starting point.
Other useful links for Social Workers
- The Social Work Response to Domestic Violence (www.socialworkers.org)
- Eliminating Gender-Based Violence, Ensuring Equality - PDF (www.cepal.org)
- Social Worker's Practice Guide to Domestic Violence (wscadv.org)
- Social Worker's Practice Guide to Domestic Violence - PDF (wscadv.org)
- The role of social workers in responding effectively to domestic abuse (www.safelives.org.uk)
- Message From The International Federation of Social Workers on International Women's Day - PDF(ifsw.org)
- Education and Training of Women (www.un.org)
- Social Work Summit on Violence Against Women - Equity Volume 1 Number 1 - PDF (www.socialworkers.org)
- Tips for Social Workers, Counselors, Health Workers, Teachers, Clergy, and Others Helping Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse (justicewomen.com)
- Sexual and Domestic Violence Protocol for Social Workers and Counsellors - PDF (www.hands.org.gy)