Human Service Scenario Analysis Paper: Domestic Violence
My current client is a Caucasian woman, 28 years of age. My client is married to her high school sweet heart at the age of 18, and she expresses how wonderful and intense her relationship started out. She claims that her husband gave her ample amounts of attention wanted to be around her all the time. He wanted to be with her when she was with her friends and family members, and always took an active interest in where she would go and what she did there. He then started to always make decisions for her claiming that he just wanted to make her life easy for her. Her husband was always extremely attentive in public places and would always ensure her that they would be together forever. As the relationship continued she became aware of feelings and a sense of discomfort around some of his behaviours, such as his reaction when she discussed doing activities with others. Then one day after an argument about where she had been for the last hour, her husband hit her in the face. This first incident started when she was 24 and has been happening ever since.
I would definitely let the client explain everything she is thinking and going through. Using assertive communication techniques I would try to start building trust and respect with the client. I would use a comfortable distance at all times, and a conscious effort to not invade her personal space. Her abuser has taken no regard to her personal space, so I must be extra sensitive. It will be very easy to pick up on the client’s nonverbal communication. She would more than likely suffer from extremely low self esteem, be depressed, timid, and reserved.
More than likely the client will be looking to obtain some type of information. I think it would be extremely important to discuss all her options and help them to find a way to be safe. First and foremost, it would be beneficial to create a safety plan. Despite that the client may not want to leave the abuser at the current time, it is still crucial to have a plan. If the client were planning on leaving right away she would need to think of important details such as the best time to leave, where the best place is to go, how will she get there, what will she take, who she will inform that she is leaving, does she think a restraining order will be helpful, how to get to money, and keeping all important information (bank account numbers, personal identification, social security number) in a safe place (Lindhorst, Nurius, & Macy, 2005).
Teaching the client the dynamics of domestic violence will help minimize the client’s feelings of the new isolation, and help her to look at the situation as not being her fault. Walker (1979) said that many domestic violence victims suffer from learned helplessness. This is a psychological theory that describes what happens when a person loses the ability to predict what actions will produce a particular outcome. Since the battered woman tries to protect herself as good as she can, those with learned helplessness choose only those actions that have a high probability of being successful. This concept is important in understanding why battered individuals don’t attempt to free themselves from a battering relationship. The victim has usually become passive, compliant, and submissive. The client does not realize she has the right not to be abused. She may even begin to accept that this is the way things are as each previous attempt to end the relationship or to get out has always gotten her into even more trouble with him. She begins to believe that perhaps this is really all her fault. “In the victims eyes, the batterer becomes more and more powerful and she sees police and other agencies as less and less able to help” (Walker, 1979, p. 45-46).
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