Good Article Review On Social Work Expertise And Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams
The field of social work is in need of expansion toward expertise in issues of domestic violence. The fatalities associated with domestic violence cases occur in increasing numbers requiring prompt organized attention to provide a solution to the problem. In response to the need for a group of experts to analyze the circumstances of the intimate partnership violence (IPV) resulting in fatality. The following paper will review an article, Social Work Expertise and Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams, to understand the goal aimed to help dissipate this tragic social problem in society.
A Crucial Problem Exists
Groups of social worker have begun the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams (DVFRT) after realizing that community programs are needed in addressing IPV problems, and to prevent future cases from occurring. Not much information can be found in journals on the subject of IPV or DVFRT, however, the program is gaining popularity throughout cities across the United States. A primary benefit in forming DVFRTs is the use of a wide range of expertise that is pooled together for comprehensive research to develop effective solution to the problem.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,340 individuals in the United States were murdered by an intimate partner in 2007, with women constituting 70 percent of these homicide victims (Catalano, Smith, Snyder, &Rand, 2009). With such a staggering amount of murder occurring in homes where domestic violence is prevalent, a serious plan to work with survivors and individuals currently in such relationships becomes a priority. Factors that contribute to incidents of IPV leading to homicide include poor socio-economic conditions, lack of education, unemployment of one or both adults in the home, drug use, access to firearms, single-mother homes with a child, and other vulnerable state of affairs for victims and perpetrators. Although problems of domestic violence happen in diverse races and ethnicities, African American woman are found to be the most likely victims of fatality in IPV.
Expansion of the DVFRTs
Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams are becoming an addition to the investigation in cases of IPV related deaths, which focus on homicide and murder-suicides. So far the grow of the DVFRTs has gone from 18 teams in 1995, to 144 teams in 2010 (Websdale, 2010). Even the United States government has become involved in supporting the teams, using the DVFRTs in all military branches as requested by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The methods used by the groups during team meetings for investigation of an IPV case incorporate a multitude of information to formulate a back drop to the circumstances surrounding the case. Individual members in the team will provide resources such as social workers reports, police reports, autopsy papers, and all information that is useful to analyzing the unfortunate incident. Group members also are asked to sign confidentiality agreements since they are privy to critical personal information of victims, perpetrators, and all members connected to the crime. The purpose of reviewing these cases is to develop a community service program to help address contributing factors associated with IPV episodes; to minimize the chances of other cases developing before it is too late.
Communities working to develop and implement DVFRTs have a lot to consider as they organize the nuances such as the size, membership, organizational structure, logistics, staffing,
The primary legal obstacle in initiating the DVFRT program was regarding confidentiality. Fortunately in 2004 almost half of the states in the U.S. passed legislation on the issue of confidentiality of the review process.
The use of Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams have gained popularity throughout states and even internationally. Canada and the United Kingdom are also beginning to form such groups in their countries as well. The DVFRTs in the U.S. are beginning to expand their skills through collaboration with teams dealing with child fatality. The combination of teams working together is likely to make positive changes to benefit the children and individuals who become prey to IPV. The sad fact remains that child negligence is highly common in homes were domestic abuse and IPV are occurring. In the state of Florida, officials noticed that child protective services were called into homes where 25% of these cases involved intimate partnership violence. Needless to say a link exists between the two, and the aim in the groups working together will hopefully bring some resolution to these cases in the near future.
As the teams become popular in communities as an effective preventative service, IPV survivors are asked to join the teams to add perspective and value from individuals who have been through the experiences themselves. The willingness to be comprehensive and considerate to the sensitive nature of the issue is evident in the development of the teams. One of the main advances in expanding the perspective of the knowledge of team members is through interviewing and involving family members of the victims as well as perpetrators of domestic violence fatality cases.
Details for Efficiency
There are factors that the DVFRTs analyze in their attempt to gather valuable information that can be used to tackle particular communities. Many of the communities with increased poverty, crime, drug-use, and such are common for domestic violence incidents in the household. These families are often non-English speaking, which requires the DVFRT to make services available in languages that are spoken widely by residents in these neighborhoods. Not only is the language barrier a problem, but the cultural difference may make it difficult to relay the message to these individuals in a manner that is empowering to them.
Working with the police departments in various counties to gather the data on which counties are dealing with a high number of IPV are approached for intervention of DVFRT services. Increasing programs for assistance in these communities provides support for members facing domestic violence abuse in their home. The support may be the difference between life and death for many of the victims, making the service crucial for prevention of IPV fatality cases.
Are Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams Effective?
The purpose of creating a community service group like the DVFRTs is ultimately to make a change towards lowering cases of fatalities resulting from domestic violence, but also for the dropping the number of homes where IPV occurs. Encouraging results from a study done by Dugan, Nagin, and Rosenfeld (2003) of the impact of IPV support services in 48 cities throughout the United States from 1976 to 1996 showed that certain types of services actually may have been helpful in lowering the number of IPV homicides.
The DVFRT provides services different from most other domestic violence community program because of the methods used to understand what factors not only influence the circumstances involved in IPV fatality, but also in working on programs may prove to be helpful in discouraging domestic violence through counseling or other community services available to citizens.
With ongoing use of DVFRT groups, more knowledge is gained in correcting weaknesses found in the system. The goal to improve what the program offers will indeed increase the benefit to societies hurt by high cases of domestic violence. Various countries are looking to the United States as they begin structuring these programs to solve the issues of domestic violence in their countries as well. The fact that other countries find value in the American DVFRT system shows that there are positive outcomes in the cities and counties who are incorporating their services.
Role of Social Workers
The importance in the role of social workers needs mentioning in the functionality of the DVFRTs. Social workers have a valuable asset in their knowledge of empathy and understanding toward diverse social issues that are common in a social workers line of work. The experience they have in speaking with distressed family members of the victims of domestic violence fatality cases, makes them crucial in their participation of the Domestic Violence Fatality Response Teams.
e of the issue is evident in the ring some resolution
Catalano, S., Smith, E., Snyder, H., & Rand, M. (2009). Female victims of violence.Washington,
DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Websdale, N. (2010). Summer 2010 fatality review bulletin. Flagstaff, AZ: National Domestic
Violence Fatality Review Initiative
Wilson, J., & Websdale, N. (2006). Domestic violence fatality review teams: An
interprofessional model to reduce deaths. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 20, 535–544