Journal Article

Social Worker Interventions in Situations of Domestic Violence: What We Can Learn from Survivors' Personal Narratives?

June Keeling and Katherine van Wormer

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 42, issue 7, pages 1354-1370
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr137
Social Worker Interventions in Situations of Domestic Violence: What We Can Learn from Survivors' Personal Narratives?

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Social workers are an integral provider in the statutory support offered to women experiencing domestic violence. This paper uses information obtained from women's personal narratives to examine this social worker–client relationship in situations of domestic violence. Embracing a feminist standpoint epistemology and focusing on the women's experiences, it is evident that many of the women expressed dissatisfaction with the way they were treated by social workers. Threats to remove the children from the home and victim blaming were among the tactics described. The parallel between such reported forms of coercion employed by social workers and those used by the abuser are striking. The findings suggest a lack of a favourable climate to ensure the safety of the woman and her family through the provision of family-centred care and a need to build more effective and supportive relationships with women experiencing domestic violence. Implications for social work practice are also discussed.

Keywords: Domestic violence; women; social work

Journal Article.  6653 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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