Domestic violence can happen with anyone because it is based on the quality of relationships among people. It can occur within same-sex relationships and heterosexual couples, between stepfathers and stepdaughters, between mothers and sons; it does not discriminate. Domestic violence any attempt of one person within a marriage, family, or intimate relationship to initiate power and control over another. The abuser uses any method possible – from guilt to intimidation to ensure that their victim is kept under control on a regular basis. It is also essential to mention that men can also experience domestic abuse in its all forms, which points to the fact that violence is multi-faceted. The current policy memo will focus on proposing a cohesive and effective domestic violence initiative to alleviate the social burden of the issue and ensure that perpetrators are treated accordingly. Non-profit organizations represent the target audience of the memo because they are the ones to most likely raise awareness of the issue, offer development retreats for victims of abuse, as well as contribute to their financial empowerment. Non-profit organizations that deal with violence provide extensive services to victims, survivors, and families affected by domestic violence, which is why the present policy memo will be relevant to the current policy memo.
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Addressing domestic violence as a social problem requires the implementation of several distinct strategies. These methods should be based on the highest quality evidence available at the present time in order for communities and governments to focus on prevention activities and the creation of environments within which people can feel safe and secure. The strategies involved in the initiative should include teaching communities safe relationship skills, engaging the expertise of influential peers and adults, disrupting developmental pathways that lead to domestic violence, creating supportive and protective environments, and supporting victors to increase their safety and mental well-being. The mentioned strategies form a framework for addressing the problem of domestic abuse from multiple angles as well as considering the adverse impact that it has on those who have experienced it.
Strategies defined for preventing domestic violence represent various levels of social ecology, with a range of efforts targeted at improving individual behaviors and relationships, families, and other social settings within which violence can take place. The steps are intended to work as a system and reinforce domestic violence prevention. While it is essential to address individual skills as associated with preventive measures of reducing domestic violence occurrence, it is also important to look at various environments (e.g., school family, peer relationships, social factors) as equally essential for developing a multi-dimensional approach that will have a significant impact on public well-being.
Non-profit organizations can use the proposed strategic framework as a guideline for their efforts targeted at reducing the occurrence of domestic violence. The strategy of educating people on healthy and safe relationship skills implies the provision of community programs in which people can participate. For example, these should include social-emotional learning programs for young people or counseling sessions for couples as to how to develop healthy relationships. The rationale for this strategy implies the need to foster positive social connections as a tool for addressing domestic and intimate partner violence. Possible outcomes of the strategy’s implementation include the increase in positive relationship skills, the reduction in physical and emotional victimization, peer violence perpetration, and high-risk sexual behaviors. In addition, it is essential to teach safe and healthy relationship skills because of their positive contribution to reducing attitudes that accept abuse as a part of regular interactions between people.
The engagement of influential peers and boys is a strategy intended to provide the youth with positive examples of model behaviors. Family-oriented programs, bystander education, and empowerment, as well as males participating in the role of allies in domestic violence prevention. The approach is relevant for encouraging men and boys to be active participants in the reduction of domestic violence occurrence. As mentioned by CDC, this approach “not only encourages men and boys to support actual and potential victims by intervening and speaking out but also teaches skills and promotes social norms that reduce their risks for future perpetration” (19). The potential outcomes of the strategy include the increase in self-efficacy as well as increased awareness of bystander behavior, the reduction of peer norms that support domestic and intimate partner abuse, as well as the eliminating of acceptance of darting abuse among teenagers and adolescents.
Another vital strategy to integrate into the work of non-profit organizations implies the disruption of developmental pathways that lead to abuse. For instance, it is recommended to conduct early childhood home visits, integrate programs for improving parenting skills and relationships within families, as well as contribute to strengthening family engagement and preschool enrichment. By diverting the attention of families to productive and positive areas of life, it will be possible to decrease the influence of various developmental contributes that increase the occurrence of domestic violence. In terms of the expected outcomes of the strategy, it is expected to reach a reduction in child neglect and abuse, an increase in parent-child interactions, an improvement of social competency and positive behaviors, higher levels of educational attainment and full-time employment, the reduction in rates of depressive behaviors and symptoms, as well as the increase in child development and health.
The creation of safe and secure environments in which individuals will feel supported is another crucial strategy to consider. Non-profit organizations can participate in the improvement of school safety and climate, contribute to the modification of workplace environments and company policies, as well as change the physical and social settings of neighborhoods. This step is necessary because it will provide support to those in need of protection as related to social contexts. Within protective environments, victims of abuse will feel safe to share their experiences and therefore initiate a process for punishing perpetrators according to the law. The expected outcomes of the proposed strategy include the reduction in domestic violence victimization and perpetration, the decrease in community violence, the increase of neighborhood collective effectiveness, disclosure, and reporting of crimes, as well as rising social support for the survivors of domestic abuse.
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The final two strategies suggested as methods for addressing domestic violence include the provision and of economic supports and the strengthening of victims’ safety to reduce potential harms. In regards to the first strategy, it is recommended to assess the financial security of at-risk families and offer them resources that could be beneficial in strengthening their economic situation. Also, improving work-family supports is necessary for ensuring that there are enough financial resources available to them. Such policies as paid leave can be of great benefit for families because they provide income replacement for such events as childbirth, physical or mental illness, personal vacation, and recovery. The potential outcomes of strengthening the economic stability of families include the reduction of financial stress and poverty, the increase in relationship satisfaction, women’s empowerment, and lowered earnings inequality.
Supporting survivors to lessen harms and increase safety is associated with addressing a multitude of victims’ needs, ranging from mental health to housing. Specific approaches include the integration of victim-centered services, housing programs, as well as first responder civil legal protections. For example, victim-centric services implemented by non-profit organizations include domestic violence hotlines, shelter, counseling and crisis intervention services, legal and medical advocacy, as well as extended access to various community resources to reduce the adverse impact of domestic abuse. Housing provision is essential because survivors need to get access to both affordable and stable shelters that would guarantee their security. After finding housing, victims can focus on meeting other needs, such as seeking mental health counseling or finding work. Potential outcomes of the strategy include the guarantee of physical safety and the stability of housing, the broader access to help-seeking services, the reduction in domestic violence-related homicide as well as the increased rates of positive parenting and relationship behaviors.
The policy memo encourages non-profit organizations to strengthen the awareness of the public of the negative influence of domestic violence. The proposed framework to address the problem combines personal, social, financial, and psychological considerations. Since the issue of domestic abuse is multi-faceted and is influenced by numerous factors contributing to its occurrence, the strategy takes into account the need for addressing it from multiple angles. The key point of prevention and management is associated with creating secure environments within which potential victims and survivors of abuse will feel safe and supported. Non-profit organizations should appeal to communities as to the urgency of fostering positive connections and ensuring that people can help each other in times of need. This calls for strong collaborative and educational efforts on the part of communities to ensure that their members do not have to go through domestic abuse.
Both law enforcement agencies and organizations focusing on public health can contribute to the action plan of addressing domestic abuse. In collaboration with non-profit players, they can bring the necessary level of leadership and resources to solving the problem. Public health agencies and law enforcement departments can also contribute through collecting and disseminating data on domestic violence occurrence, implementing preventive measures, and track progress within their dedicated setting. Monitoring and intervention can also be integrated into the operations of parties collaborating on the program due to the need for measuring the success of the program on the community level first prior to implementing it state-wide. The most productive evaluations center around strategies that have been integrated separately. Although, it is also imperative to understand the systematic effect of the strategies that work in combination to prevent domestic violence. The recommended strategies were based on evidence on the topic of domestic abuse and are expected to alleviate the burden of abuse for individuals and communities in general. Thus, through the continuous exploration of the problem and the identification of methods of its elimination, non-profit organizations can strengthen their understanding of how to improve relationships between people to manage the prevalence of abuse in families.
CDC. “Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package of Programs, Policies, and Practices.” CDC, 2017, Web.