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Supporting critical thinking, learning and victim-defined advocacy...

Advocacy with Victims in Contact Discussion

Download this Exercise.

Overview: This exercise provides an opportunity to read material about advocacy with victims in contact, and then talk about the needs of victims in contact and our advocacy with them.

Group size: Smaller groups (about 5-6 in each) will encourage participation.

Victims in contact include:

  • Person in a relationship with an abusive partner
  • Person who interacts with an abusive former partner
  • Child in the care of adult victims
  • Child who interacts with an abusive parent (even if parents are not “together”)

Time needed for:

  • Exercise leader to read the materials.
  • Participants to read selected excerpts of the materials.
  • Small groups to discuss questions and prepare for reporting back (at least 30 minutes ).
  • Reporting back and conclusion (depends on number of groups reporting).

Leader preparation/instructions:

  • Read When Battered Women Stay…Advocacy Beyond Leaving and/or Advocacy Beyond Leaving: A Guide for Domestic Violence Advocates and select 1 or 2 short (few pages) excerpts for all participants to read.
  • Organize participants in small groups and go through the instructions/questions in the handout (see next page). If possible have a facilitator for each group.
  • Have each group report back. If possible, write the reports on newsprint and/or record them.
  • Conclude by summarizing the reports and steps participants listed. If at a staff/organization meetings, announce any next steps and how these conversations will continue.

Discuss one or more of the following:

  • What are some of the primary needs of victims in contact that you identify? What advocacy do they want?
  • From your perspective and role, what are some of the issues and challenges raised by advocacy with victims in contact? If you do systemic advocacy, consider the differences between advocacy for individual victims and systemic advocacy for all victims.
  • What ideas do you have for enhancing advocacy with victims in contact?

Report back:

  1. A short one sentence statement regarding the issues, needs, or perspectives of victims in contact.
    For example: We need to learn more about what victims in contact need.
  2. One question regarding victims in contact.
    For example: What strategies do they use to help their children be safe?
  3. One or two things you might do right away to enhance advocacy with victims in contact.
    For example: When describing the advocacy you offer, saying explicitly to victims that you will work with them whether they decide to stay or leave a relationship.
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