October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!
Domestic violence is nothing new in our society and once you begin your Practicum and start working with clients it will become very apparent to you how pervasive it is in our communities regardless of race, class or culture. Domestic violence is a cycle of power and control. Perpetrators will use physical violence, manipulate emotional insecurities, or use financial dependence as a means to exert their power to control their victims.
When working with this population often the biggest hurdle is getting them to the point where they are emotionally strong enough to begin the process of advocating for themselves. Typically some combination of shame, fear and denial prevent victims from acknowledging their abuse. Additionally, if the abuse is emotional or financial and not physical, clients often do not consider themselves victims of domestic violence and will often be offended at the suggestion or say “at least he’s hitting me.”
While there is currently no Domestic Violence course offering available in the MFT program at Fairfield U., MFT students preparing for clinical placement should educate themselves about Domestic Violence — perpetrators, victims, and it’s effect on children. One excellent resource is called Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.
So during this month of heightened awareness, if you or someone you know, or one of your clients is a victim of domestic violence please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get information about receiving help in your area 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or click the following link http://www.ndvh.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/
Other statewide resources include:
Center for Women and Familes of Eastern Fairfied County http://www.cwfefc.org/
Domestic Violence Crisis Center http://www.dvccct.org/
Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury http://www.safehavengw.org/
Interval House http://www.intervalhousect.org/