Social and Health Services

Getting Started

In this activity, you will consider the dynamics of domestic violence, and how you might help a victim of abuse while also following professional protocols in your agency.

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  • Report: Social Worker’s Practice Guide to Domestic Violence.pdf
  • Video: The Truth About Domestic Violence

Background Information

As you will continue to learn through both academic and field experiences, there are often no “easy answers” when it comes the dilemmas encountered by social work professionals, and the barriers present when intervening in cases of domestic violence are particularly trying. Though safety can be a concern for the professionals involved in domestic violence work, there will also be opportunities to use strengths-based and culturally competent approaches in these situations, particularly during the processes of engagement and empowerment. In addition, relevant laws will be explored as these are also important for social workers to be familiar with.


  1. Read the report “Social Worker’s Practice Guide to Domestic Violence” from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
  2. Watch the video: The Truth About Domestic Violence.
  3. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following prompts based on what you learned from the Practice Guide and your library search:
    1. Given that experts have found that separating children from parents “does little to increase the safety and well-being of children” (Social Workers Practice Guide to Domestic Violence, 2010, p. 9) when children are involved in a domestic violence situation, identify and apply the three most important steps you would take in response, and discuss why you selected those steps the three most important. Reference the reading or other course material in your response.
    2. According to the reading when working with perpetrators of domestic violence, what are the two most important practices to take into account? What two practices (or two aspects of working with perpetrators) might be the most challenging or difficult for you? Identify at least one way or method you might employ to address those challenges citing evidence to support. What might you do differently depending on whether the primary perpetrator was female or male?
    3. Identify one important aspect of domestic violence you gained from watching the video. How do you respond to the data presented? How might it apply to your practice?

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