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Guiding Principles

The four primary goals in developing or strengthening a community's response to the problem of adult domestic violence are:

1.Victim Safety and Self-determination

2.Abuser Accountability

3.Systems' Responsibility

4.Promoting a Coordinated Response Grounded in the Principles of Zero Tolerance

The Guiding Principles are the universal benchmarks by which programs, policies, protocols, and procedures across all systems (both formal and informal) can be measured to assess the extent to which they support the above-stated goals. The following principles are not intended to be an exhaustive list of evaluative measures, but rather to serve as a solid starting point to guide the work of counties.

This policy provides further recommendations specific to Employers and the following formal systems: the Criminal Justice, Legal and Judicial; Health Care; Substance Abuse Treatment; Child Welfare; Mental Health; and Education. There are, however, many potential formal and informal helping systems-community-based agencies, women's centers, departments of social services, religious institutions and communities of faith, child care centers, neighborhood groups, and homeless housing networks, to name a few-that are not specifically focused on in this policy, but for whom the following Guiding Principles should provide significant information and guidance regarding their responses to domestic violence.

1.VICTIM SAFETY AND SELF-DETERMINATION

By far, the most important goal in developing systems' and community responses to adult domestic violence is enhancing victim safety. Essential to furthering this goal is the acknowledgment that battered women encounter many obstacles to achieving safety or to ending a relationship with an abusive partner, and the choices they confront are not

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