provider as a safety-related concern, full consideration should be given to transferring one or the other client to a different site, in consultation with the victim.
Client transfers in these circumstances may or may not be in a victim's best interests. Providers should confer with the victim to determine the safest course of action and take the steps necessary to respond to her safety-related needs. If it is a victim's judgment that a transfer of either partner may, in fact, increase her danger, the providers should investigate the feasibility of alternative measures to increase safety for the victim, such as limiting the abuser's access to the victim by scheduling appointments for both parties at different times, alerting security staff of the situation, arranging for security escorts when appropriate, etc.
i.With the consent of the victim, mental health providers should inform all staff when a client has an order of protection and should keep a copy of the order of protection in a confidential on-site location.
It is helpful for staff of the mental health treatment program to be informed and/or have access to information regarding program clients who have orders of protection so that they will be prepared to take appropriate action regarding enforcement of the orders, if necessary. With a victim's consent, this information should be made available to all staff even if they do not have direct program responsibility for a particular client.
a.Routine screening for domestic violence should be conducted with all male clients to determine if they are perpetrating abuse in their intimate relationships.
While mental health treatment is not recommended for responding to abusers' use of coercion and violence in their intimate relationships, screening male clients for domestic violence can be helpful. Awareness that a client is an abuser creates an opportunity for the mental health provider to provide information and education to the abuser about his abusive behavior (see 2.b. below). In addition, such awareness can assist a provider in developing a treatment plan for whatever the presenting mental health issue is, in a way that does not undermine an abuser's responsibility for his coercion and violence and that does not undermine a victim's safety.
b.Mental health providers should reinforce abusers' sole