themselves from the violent and coercive acts of their partners in ways that conflict with agreed upon recovery strategies. A victim's use of survival strategies related to safety should be supported and encouraged and not seen as a failure to comply with the mental health treatment plan, but as an indication that the treatment plan needs to be reviewed and modified.
f.Mental health providers should cultivate cooperative relationships with domestic violence service providers, provide victims with accurate information about available domestic violence residential and nonresidential services, and should actively assist victims in making the linkage with those services, if they so desire.
Even when women are receiving treatment for mental health problems, domestic violence service providers can often lend additional support for women. For example, mental health providers can refer women to peer support group meetings, if desired and appropriate. Inpatient providers should routinely include referral to local domestic violence programs as a part of discharge planning.
Since many domestic violence service providers are not equipped to deal with victims experiencing serious emotional distress, mental health providers should also know what restrictions may exist on the provision of domestic violence services.
g.Mental health providers should conduct initial, individual screenings for domestic violence before making referrals to or engaging couples or families in couples counseling, family therapy, or mediation; and should conduct ongoing screening and assessment for domestic violence with couples or families who are engaged in these services.
Providers should conduct a thorough assessment for domestic violence before engaging couples in family or conjoint counseling/therapy. These assessments should be conducted with each individual in private. In cases in which domestic violence is identified or suspected, these modalities should not be used. In cases in which the domestic violence is not identified in an initial screening, but is recognized or exposed later in the intervention process, providers should develop strategies for terminating the family or conjoint therapy without further endangering victims. (See Guiding Principles, 1.i.)
h.In the event that an abuser and a victim are being treated or housed at the same site, and the victim has independent knowledge of her partner's participation in mental health treatment and raises it with the mental health