State. In fact, most battered women who enter emergency domestic violence shelters report having made multiple attempts to seek help from other systems-health care, criminal or civil justice, schools, and human services including public assistance, housing, and employment training-prior to their request for assistance from local domestic violence services. In many cases, domestic violence remains unidentified by professionals working in these various service systems. For example, it is estimated that domestic violence is identified in only about one in ten cases in which a victim presents to the health care system with a violence-related injury or illness. (19)
An increased rate of identification of domestic violence, coupled with an appropriate response from providers working within these systems, is an essential secondary prevention strategy because of its potential to prevent further harm. The following Guiding Principles are based on the belief that providers across all systems need to develop policies, protocols, and programs to effectively identify and appropriately respond to domestic violence and that they should have adequate knowledge and preparation to implement such policies, protocols, and programs.
a.Providers should actively seek training on domestic violence from experts in the field including local domestic violence service providers, the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the New York State Spanish Domestic Violence Hotline, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, and Pace University Battered Women's Justice Center. Training should be required not only for front line staff, but for management, policy makers, human resources personnel, and security staff.
In order to develop effective policies, protocols, and programs and to have the ability to implement them effectively, providers need to have accurate, state-of-the-art information about domestic violence. Minimally, such training should prepare staff to assess for domestic violence, assist identified victims in safety planning, make appropriate referrals, and individualize responses in recognition of the physical, social, and cultural realities that may impact an individual victim's situation, in particular, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious affiliation, physical and mental disabilities, immigrant status, and urban vs.