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Available scholarship demonstrates that domestic violence remains a foremost public health issue with far-reaching consequences not only for the victims, but also for the child witnesses and the community in general (Murray, Crowe, & Akers, 2016). As such, there is a need for relevant stakeholders in the community setting to provide useful resources that could be used to prevent further violence and support victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence (Fox, Corr, Gadd, & Sim, 2016). The focus of this paper is to document the local domestic violence victim resources found within a community in Kent County, Delaware, and also to discuss the importance of these resources to the community.
Documentation of local resources
Many of the domestic violence victim resources found within this bilingual community are offered by the Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence. These resources include
- 24-hour domestic violence hotlines,
- information and referrals,
- shelter, counseling, support and advocacy services,
- court advocacy programs located within the family court,
- certified domestic violence intervention programs,
- legal assistance, and
- police-based victim assistance programs (“Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence”, n.d.).
In brief, the 24-hour domestic violence hotlines ensure that cases of domestic violence within the community are dealt with at the earliest convenience, while information and referrals are used to provide the needed information and refer victims and survivors to external help or support groups. The community-based shelter service provides counseling and support (e.g., housing, employment, transportation, and education), while the court advocacy program assists victims and survivors of domestic violence within the community to go through the court process. All the other documented resources assist financially eligible victims and survivors within the community to deal with legal and policy-related aspects of domestic and sexual violence.
Discussion of the importance of the resources to the community
The documented resources are important to the community in several ways. First, some of the bilingual services offered to non-English speaking victims of domestic violence in the community shelter and other support groups enable them to speak out and share their experiences in a culturally appropriate manner. Second, it is important to note that the community-based shelter for victims of domestic is run by professionals who are well trained to handle such cases. The victim-professional encounter at the shelter ensures a speedy healing and recovery period for the victims since they are treated with dignity and respect, thus the aspect of stigmatization is greatly reduced (Murray et al., 2016).
Additionally, the documented services (e.g., domestic violence hotlines, police support, shelter assistance, and intervention programs) are instrumental in preventing further domestic and sexual abuse, raising awareness of these issues within the community setting, as well as straightforwardly challenging the stigma surrounding them (Fox et al., 2016). Most of the resources documented in this paper cannot only raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence within the community setting but also to encourage continuing dialogue about these issues. Lastly, these resources are important as they provide the community with a framework to address the harmful psychological and emotional effects associated with victims and survivors of domestic violence.
This paper has not only documented the local domestic violence victim resources found within a community in Kent County but also discussed the importance of these resources to the community. Overall, it can be concluded that these resources are of critical importance to victims of domestic violence. They are also of immense importance to the local community, particularly in terms of enabling members to assist victims of domestic violence in dealing with the serious consequences associated with the issue.
Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dcadv.org/local-programs
Fox, C.L., Corr, M.L., Gadd, D., & Sim, J. (2016). Evaluating the effectiveness of domestic abuse prevention education: Are certain children more or less receptive to the messages conveyed? Legal and Criminological Psychology, 21(2), 212-227. Web.
Murray, C., Crowe, A., & Akers, W. (2016). How can we end the stigma surrounding domestic and sexual violence? A modified Delphi study with national advocacy leaders. Journal of Family Violence, 31(3), 271-287. Web.