is that they don't want to disclose information about their partners' abuse. While many victims do make efforts to hide the abuse, they often do so because they fear negative consequences, including fear that their partners will discover that they sought help. An important element in demonstrating your trustworthiness as a "helper", and creating an environment that creates safety for victims to disclose abuse, is to be clear, direct, and up-front about the extent and limits of your confidentiality policy.
h.Wherever possible, information received from victims should not be directly used in conducting screening and interventions with their abusive partners, even if the victim is willing to provide signed consent.
The use of information provided by victims in interventions with abusers may provide a perceived benefit (for example, using information to confront denial of abusers), but undermines the goal of victim safety. As in the case of family/couples counseling, many women report being threatened or assaulted for information they shared with providers that, in turn, was disclosed to abusers.
In cases in which the use of information provided by victims may be unavoidable (such as Child Protective or law enforcement investigations), providers should give prior notification to the victim of what information is to be shared and when, and engage the victim in planning for her safety.
i.Families in which adult domestic violence occurs should not be referred to or engaged in services in which they must cooperatively participate, such as couples, marriage, and family counseling services, or alternative dispute resolution and mediation services.
Intervention strategies that require the cooperative participation of a victim and her abusive partner often presuppose an equal relationship in which both parties are free to openly participate. Mediation, for example, is a process through which equal parties are engaged in negotiations in an effort to resolve a conflict. Victims of domestic violence who, by definition, are being controlled by their partners, are significantly compromised in their ability to negotiate freely and