Violence Council Lynda Baker, Director
600 Randolph St., Suite 360
Detroit MI 48226 (313) 224-6994
Fax: (313) 224-6187
Wayne County's Family Violence Council works to serve families, especially women and children, who have suffered from any encounter with domestic violence. The 35-person council draws its members from all fields - law enforcement, courts, social services, survivors, batterer intervention services, public health, health care and education.
Positive changes in the law have also brought more response from victims. Wayne County Family Violence Handbook.
Hello...Before we introduce the complete Wayne County Family Violence Handbook, we have provided the mission statement of the council that works to prevent family violence and a bit of the council’s history. We hope you will find all of this material helpful.
MISSION STATEMENT of the WAYNE COUNTY COUNCIL AGAINST FAMILY VIOLENCE
The Council was formed in 1992 to make recommendations to and coordinate the efforts of Police Departments, the Prosecutor's Office and service agencies in their approach to the problem of domestic violence in Wayne County. The Council will work towards facilitating the proper enforcement of the laws, policies and procedures applicable to domestic violence situations.
The Council will provide direction by acquiring the support and or involvement of existing agencies and community programs already committed to addressing and resolving the problem of domestic/family violence, rather than establishing new services therefrom. The Council through an alliance of government, service providers, and community agencies will advocate for the development of a comprehensive, coordinated approach to reducing domestic/family violence in Wayne County.
HISTORY of the WAYNE COUNTY COUNCIL AGAINST FAMILY VIOLENCE
Wayne County's efforts to impact on the problem of domestic violence stretches back to 1990 when County Executive Edward H. McNamara established a task force to study reducing all forms of violence in our community. One of the major recommendations that resulted from the efforts of the task force was the creation of a domestic violence coordinating council.
In 1992, the Wayne County Coordinating Council to Prevent Domestic Violence (WCCCPDV) held its first meeting. The Council, an official body whose agency members were appointed by the County Executive, accepted a mission to change the way domestic violence was handled in our County. Through an alliance of government, service providers, and community gencies, the Council members began to advocate for the development of a comprehensive, coordinated approach to reducing this crime.
Over the past eight years the Council has been successful in carrying out its mission.
Monthly Council meetings permit members to identify weaknesses within the various systems, air their frustrations, plan strategies together, and clarify structural and resource issues. The exchanges and cooperation, which occur on the Council, have had a synergistic effect, with each small improvement creating opportunities for greater change.
The Council is unique in that it does not function only in an advisory capacity, but utilizes a "hands on" approach to addressing problems and needs. For example, we created the Wayne County Domestic Violence Handbook that was developed to inform the community on domestic violence and provide referral information. To date, many thousands of the handbooks have been, and continue to be, distributed. We have translated the handbook into Spanish and Arabic.
We also created a booklet for children, "Sometimes...It is Sad to be at Home, What is a Kid to do about Domestic Violence?" which has been distributed across the state. The booklet has also been translated and distributed in Arabic and Spanish. We worked to develop "Wayne County Standards for Batterer Intervention Programs" to insure that appropriate methods are employed to provide accountability for battering behavior and safety for women and children.
As a result, many Council members were asked to participate on the Governor's Task Force to create statewide Standards for programs. Through various members of the Council, training has been and continues to be provided to local law enforcement agencies and police academies, probation and parole officers, social service workers, 911 operators and dispatchers, schools, colleges, and any other agency or group that desires to learn about current information and procedures.
In January of 1999, we formally changed the name of the Council to "The Wayne County Council Against Family Violence," in recognition of the various forms of violence that occur within families. Like Wayne County, communities across Michigan and the nation have found that the creation of effective councils involved in issues of prevention, education, and intervention in the area of family violence creates commitments from their leaders. It is our hope that this commitment, the reduction of family violence, will become an enduring aspect of our community's public policy.
When Violence Hits Home
Family violence includes domestic violence, child abuse, and abuse directed towards other family members living in the home.
In this handbook, the focus will be on family violence, defined as violent or controlling behavior by a person against an intimate partner. Although the partner is the primary target, violence is often directed toward children, family members, friends, and even bystanders.
The majority of the victims of family violence are women. However, violence also happens by women against men and in both gay and lesbian relationships.
The mission of the Wayne County Council Against Family Violence is to educate our community about violence in the home, and to provide a coordinated, community approach towards intervention and prevention. We believe that everyone must be involved and that everyone can help stop domestic violence. Individually and together we can make a difference in the lives of thousands of adults and children.
Dynamics of Domestic Violence
The Cause....Domestic violence is caused by one partner’s need for ultimate power and control in the relationship. People who are abusive and controlling are responsible for their own behavior. However, violence between partners may be "enhanced" by numerous factors, such as:
Stressful situations, job loss, financial problems, pregnancy, role changes, such as partner starting school or getting new job Intense jealousy Frustration Alcohol and/or other drug abuse Childhood experiences of abuse and/or parental violence Mental disorders
For Better or Worse
One of the most frequently asked questions about domestic violence is, "Why do people stay in these relationships?" There are many reason why women and men stay in violent relationships:
Love, fear, pride, shame, embarrassment, loyalty, financial dependence, low self-esteem, cultural, religious, and personal beliefs, or a combination of these reasons. Victims that experience family violence during their childhood now accept it as a normal part of life and do not even realize that physical assault of a partner is a crime.Remain simply because they believe their partner’s promises to change. Many stay in violent relationships because they fear the consequences of leaving their partner. Three-fourths of all battered women are more severely beaten after they leave, are separated, or divorced from their partner. Women are also at the greatest risk of becoming a victim of homicide when trying to leave the relationship.
Abusive Behaviors: A Warning List
This list identifies a series of behaviors typically used by batterers and abusive people. All of these forms of abuse–psychological, economic, and physical—come from the batterer’s desire for power and control. The list can help you recognize if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship.
Emotional and Economic Attacks Destructive Criticism/Verbal Abuse: Name-calling; mocking; accusing; blaming; yelling; swearing; making humiliating remarks or gestures.
Pressure Tactics: Rushing you to make decisions through "guilt tripping" and other forms of intimidation; sulking; threatening to withhold money; manipulating the children; telling you what to do; threatening to report you to welfare or other social service agencies.Abusing Authority: Always claiming to be right (insisting statements are "the truth"); telling you what to do; making big decisions. Disrespect: Interrupting; changing topics; not listening or responding; twisting your words; putting you down in front of other people; saying bad things about your friends and family.
Abusing Trust:Lying; withholding information; cheating on you; being overly jealous.
Abusive Behaviors: A Warning List Breaking Promises:
Not following through on agreements; not taking a fair share of responsibility; refusing to help with child care or housework.
Emotional Withholding: Not expressing feelings; not giving support, attention, or compliments; not respecting feelings, rights, or opinions.
Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming:Making light of behavior and not taking your concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn’t happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying you caused it.
Economic Control: Interfering with your work or not letting you work; refusing to give you money; taking your car keys or otherwise preventing you from using the car.
Self-destructive Behavior: Abusing drugs or alcohol; threatening suicide or other forms of self-harm; deliberately saying or doing things that will have negative consequences (e.g., telling off the boss).
Isolation: Preventing you from seeing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives; monitoring phone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go.
Harassment: Making uninvited visits or calls; following you; checking up on you; embarrassing you in public; fusing to leave when asked.
Acts of Violence
Intimidation: Making angry or threatening gestures; use of physical size to intimidate; standing in doorway during arguments; out shouting you; driving recklessly.
Destruction: Destroying your possessions; punching walls; throwing and/or breaking things.
Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to hurt you or others.
Sexual Violence: Degrading treatment based on your sex or sexual orientation; using force, threats, or coercion to obtain sex or perform sexual acts.
Physical Violence: Being violent to you, your children, household pets or others by slapping, punching, grabbing, kicking, choking, punching, biting, burning, stabbing or shooting.
Weapons: Use of weapons; keeping weapons around which frighten you; threatening or attempting to kill you or those you love.
Sexual Violence and HIV/AIDS
For many, sexual abuse is common in violent relationships.It is the most difficult aspect of domestic violence to admit to or to talk about. Sexual assault is against the law whether or not the attacker is your spouse.
If your partner has sex with other people and then has unprotected sex with you, you are at risk of getting HIV/AIDS. If you think you may be in this situation, please consider an HIV test. The AIDS Consortium can help you. Call: 1-800-826-1662.
Cycle of Domestic Violence
Once begun, the Cycle of Domestic Violence increases in frequency and severity over time. The Cycle shows how domestic violence often becomes a pattern made up of three stages:
Tension-Building: criticism, yelling, wearing, using angry gestures, coercion, threats
Violence: physical and sexual attacks and threats
Seduction (RECONCILIATION, CALM): apologies, blaming, promises to change, gifts
Cycle of Domestic Violence
It also explains how three dynamics, love, hope, and fear, keep the cycle in motion and make it hard to end a violent relationship.Love for your partner, the relationship has its good points, its not all bad.Hope that it will change, the relationship didn’t begin like this Fear that the threats to kill you or your family will become a reality.
A wheel helps link the different behaviors that together form a pattern of violence. It shows the relationship as a whole–and how each seemingly unrelated behavior is an important part in an overall effort to control someone. Wheel shows Power & Control in the center, spokes are economic control, verbal abuse, intimidation, coercion, Abusing Authority, minimizing, denying and blaming, using lover ones, isolation.
A Non-Violence Wheel offers a view of a relationship that is based on equality and non-violence. Use this chart to ompare the characteristics of a non-violent relationship to those of an abusive relationship (see also Violence Wheel). The Non-Violence Wheel is also helpful in setting goals and boundaries in personal relationships.
This wheel show Equality at the center, and the spokes are shared responsibility, fairness, trust and support, honesty, economic partnership, non-threatening behavior, responsible parent, respect.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INDICATORS OF LETHALITY WHEN AN ABUSER MIGHT KILL
Abuser has threatened to kill
Partner has left or the abuser has discovered their partner wants to leave, file for separation or divorce
Weapons are present.
Abuser has easy access to partner or partner’s family
A history of prior calls to the police for help
Stalking behavior on the part of the abuser may be an indication of willingness to engage in life-threatening behavior
The abuser has threatened the children
The abuser has threatened to take partner hostage or has held partner hostage
The abuser has killed or mutilated a pet
The abuser has a history of assaultive behavior against others
The abuser has a history of weapon use
The abuser has threatened suicide
The abuser has an alcohol or drug problem
Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser, there are thing you can do to make yourself and your family safer.
DURING AN EXPLOSIVE INCIDENT
Stay away from the kitchen, or anywhere near weapons
Go to a room with a door or window to escape, or a room with a phone, lock the abuser outside if you can
Call 911 right away
Identify neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask that they call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home If a police officer comes, tell what happened; get name & badge number
Get medical help if you are hurt
Take pictures of bruises and injuries
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AT HOME
Learn where to get help; memorize emergency numbers
Keep a phone in a room you lock from the inside; get a cell phone and program it to 911, keep it with you always
Practice how to get out of your home safely; identify which doors, windows, elevator or stairwell would be best
Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you don’t think you will need to ); make arrangements for pets
Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police If the abuser has moved out, change the locks on your doors; get locks on the windows
Get an unlisted phone number; block caller ID; use an answering machine; screen calls, save messages
Pack a bag with important things you would need if you had to leave quickly and put it in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative to keep for you. See checklist
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SAFE
Teach them not to get in the middle of a fight, even if they want to help
Teach them how to get to safety, to call 911, to give your address & phone number to the police
Inform your children’s school, daycare, etc. about who has permission to pick up your children
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF OUTSIDE THE HOME
Change your regular travel habits; try to get rides with different people
Shop and bank in a different place
Cancel any bank accounts or credit cards you shared; open new accounts at a different bank
Keep your Personal Protection Order (PPO) and emergency phone numbers with you at all times
HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SAFER AT WORK
Decide who at work you will inform of your situation, this should include office or building security
Provide a picture of the abuser
Don’t go to lunch alone If the abuser calls you at work, save the voice mail and e-mail
Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or bus
Use a variety of routes to go home
WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WHEN YOU LEAVE
All birth certificates
Money Lease, rental agreement, house deed
Bank books; check books
House and car keys
Medications Medical records for all family members
Social Security Card Welfare identification School records
Work permits; green card; passport
Divorce papers Children’s small toys
A home in which physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or property damage occurs is frightening, unhealthy, and can be devastating to a child. Children in these homes cannot truly be children. These children try to protect their parents or younger siblings. They worry about being an additional problem or burden to their family and fear for their own safety and security. They have the additional burden of carrying around the family secret.
EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN
Any injury a parent suffers may also be suffered by the children.
The children may be affected by lack of resources such as: lack of food, proper shelter, clothing, or other basic needs; limited or no medical attention; poor supervision ; and abandonment.
All batterers do not sexually abuse children, but many do.
Whether children are a direct target of emotional abuse (e.g., yelling, name-calling), or witness domestic violence, the effects are long lasting.
HOW CHILDREN REACT
Intense feeling of sadness, anger, fear, confusion, self-blame, and insecurity
Becoming isolated and withdrawn
Poor social skills
Poor problem-solving skills
Taking on parental roles
Violent behavior toward other children, pets, and toys Greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse, sexual action out, delinquent behavior, and running away
Children who are the direct targets of the abuse or who witness abuse may grow up to be abusers or to marry abusers.
Abusive relationships observed in childhood can become accepted as "normal."
Teenagers may become involved in violent relationships with their peers and partners.
SUGGESTIONS FOR HELPING
Do you know someone in a battering relationship? Do you suspect that a friend, relative, or someone you know is being abused? If so, don’t be afraid to offer help–you just might save someone’s life. here are some suggestions to assist someone who may be a target of domestic violence:
Approach in an understanding, non-blaming way. Tell them that they are not alone, that there are many others in the same kind of situation.
Acknowledge that it is scary and difficult to talk about domestic violence. No one deserves to be threatened, hit, or beaten.
Nothing they can do or say makes the abuser’s violence ok.
Show the Warning List, Violence and Non Violence Wheels.
Discuss the dynamics of violence and how abuse is based on power and control.
Offer Support as a friend.
Be a good listener.
Encourage their expression of hurt and anger.
Allow them to make their own decisions, even if it means they are not ready to leave the abusive relationship.
Provide information on help available, including emergency shelter, counseling services, safety planning and legal advice.
Inform them about legal protection.
Go with them to circuit court to get a PPO to prevent further harassment by the abuser.