a given community regarding issues related to victim safety. Local domestic violence service providers provide confidential assistance to battered women and their children. They provide emergency safety services including shelter and 24-hour crisis hotlines and, most often, a full range of non-shelter services. Non-residential services are typically free of charge; shelter costs are typically covered by the local department of social services, except for working women and women with access to financial resources, who may be required to contribute financially to their shelter stays.
f.Screening for adult domestic violence should be conducted with victims and abusers in separate sessions. Where victims are not fluent in English, or are hearing-impaired, providers should arrange for translators or interpreters who are neither friends, nor relatives (including children) of the victim.
In order to safely assess for adult domestic violence, a victim should never be asked domestic violence screening questions in the presence of her partner, for to do so puts her at risk of retaliation for what she may or may not say. If the gender of the client's partner is not known, providers should use gender-neutral language in assessing for domestic violence, i.e., "Does your partner make threats to hurt you or other family members?"
In cases in which there are language barriers, protecting victim safety includes avoiding the use of family members as interpreters/translators and making it a priority to locate interpreters/translators who have some knowledge of domestic violence.
g.Before conducting a screening for domestic violence with a potential victim, providers should inform the concerned party of the extent and limits of confidentiality. In particular, the concerned party should be informed of the provider's need to act in cases in which s/he expresses an intent to do harm to self or others, and, if the provider is a mandated reporter of child abuse, in cases in which reportable information of child abuse and/or neglect is shared.
A common misperception of victims of domestic violence