Advocate’s Corner

For Advocates

A Central Location for Information for Domestic Violence Advocates

The advocate’s corner is a central location for information for domestic violence advocates. Here you will find articles, documents, and protocols that are relevant to your work and will help you in your advocacy with domestic violence survivors. If you have recently attended an ODVN training where materials were referenced during the training, you will find those materials here. The information available here will be updated and changed regularly, so what you see today might not be there in the future. If you find valuable information that you want to be able to keep or find again, please print out the document or save it so you will have access to it later.

Articles and documents are organized by topic to make your search easier.

Effective Advocacy with Survivors

Advocacy Beyond Leaving: Helping Battered Women In Contact With Current or Former Partners (2009)

Advocates are skilled and effective in helping victims to limit contact or leave a relationship. It is a primary safety strategy and one of the things we do well. Yet, when a victim’s focus and goals are to remain in contact, to remain in the relationship, or to improve her children’s relationship with their father, we may quickly move out of our comfort zone. We might struggle to identify safety strategies, to find resources, to know what to do and what to say. This Guide provides information that will help advocates with these challenges. In an easy to read question and answer format, this Guide offers practical suggestions to assist advocates working day to day with victims. Using the familiar and concrete framework of woman-defined advocacy, the Guide explains advocates’ important role in safety planning when victims are in contact with current or former partners. This Guide offers basic and general information and does not provide the detailed knowledge or skilled judgment necessary to advocate effectively. It is not a substitute for quality training and supervision for advocates. 

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Best Practices and Protocols for Ohio’s Domestic Violence Programs (2016)

By understanding trauma as a normal response to an abnormal experience and learning effective ways to support survivors in recovering from their trauma, we can further improve and enhance the services we provide and the care we offer. The manual also outlines 16 best practices to incorporate into your organization and also offers detailed protocols on providing trauma-informed services such as answering hotline calls, doing intakes and exit interviews, facilitating support groups, safety planning (including emotional safety planning), and providing parenting support to survivors. Finally, we include information on vicarious trauma and how to make sure that advocates are focusing on the important issue of self-care. The appendices in this manual include an extremely helpful trauma-informed checklist developed by the National Center on Trauma, Domestic Violence and Mental Health, resources, a comparison between the trauma-informed care model and the empowerment model used by most domestic violence programs, suggested best practices for child survivors of domestic violence, and a case study to help individuals and programs identify ways to become more trauma-informed.

Click here for the manual

Domestic Violence and Children

Promising Futures: Best Practices for Serving Children, Youth, and Parents Experiencing Domestic Violence (Futures Without Violence)

The website is organized around five major topics: (1) Get the Facts: includes general information and statistics about the effects of domestic violence on children, parenting, and outlines some guiding principles for enhancing our services for children and youth; (2) Program Readiness: designed to assist programs in revisiting their infrastructure, physical environment, policies and practices to better support the mother-child relationship and institutionalize the notion that our advocacy for mothers and kids should be connected in every way; (3) Interventions for Children and Youth: includes a searchable database of promising practices and evidence-based clinical interventions for children and youth to help programs promote healing and resilience among mothers and children together; (4) Advancing the Field: discusses how advocates can be more intentional about implementing research-informed practice including trauma-informed strategies and partnering with researchers to document our success; and (5) Tools: includes resources to assist programs in capacity building including training curriculum, resources for families, and tools for research and evaluation.

Links to Free Resources on Domestic Violence and Children

Little Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence Against a Mother Shapes Children as They Grow (2007)

A resource for anyone looking to understand how children experience violence against their mothers and how those experiences may shape them as they grow, from infancy to adolescence. Funded by the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Public Health Agency of Canada. We combined the most popular information from our most popular resources, included lots of new material, and added a reference to the latest sources of information and updated statistics. Topics addressed include facts & figures, ten ways a child can be changed by living with violence at home, and some myths about woman abuse and children. This is a concise source of information for helping professionals, volunteers, or students.

Domestic Violence and Children: Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates (2011)

The Domestic Violence Collaborative Group of the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network has developed a factsheet designed for domestic violence project advocates. This factsheet includes helpful information on how children react to domestic violence, short and long-term responses to domestic violence, possible reactions to domestic violence, factors that can help children recover, and working with parents and their children through domestic violence situations.

Understanding Traumatic Stress in Children (2005)

The National Center on Family Homelessness has compiled this booklet as a resource for caregivers working with children who have experienced traumatic stress. The booklet opens by defining trauma, then looks more closely at acute traumatic stress and complex trauma. For each aspect of trauma, the booklet describes the most common developmental effects on children and ways for caregivers to respond to help children heal. To support caregivers, the resource highlights the importance of self-care and provide a list of resources.

Safe Start: Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Each child and situation is different, but exposure to violence can overwhelm children at any age and lead to problems in their daily lives. Some children may have an emotional or physical reaction. Others may find it harder to recover from a frightening experience. Exposure to violence—especially when it is ongoing and intense—can harm children’s natural, healthy development unless they receive support to help them cope and heal. The Safe Start Center Trauma-Informed Care Tip Sheet Series is designed to expand the knowledge of children’s exposure to violence in different areas and populations and ways to help.

The Developmental Assets® are 40 common sense, positive experiences, and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults. Because of its basis in youth development, resiliency, and prevention research and its proven effectiveness, the Developmental Assets framework has become one of the most widely used approaches to positive youth development in the United States.

Domestic Violence Shelter Rules

How the Earth Didn’t Fly Into the Sun: Missouri’s Project to Reduce Rules in Domestic Violence Shelters by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV), published by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (2011)

This guide is part of a shared goal between NRCDV, state coalitions, and individual programs to find a better way to welcome women and other domestic violence victims — many of whom had every aspect of a life controlled by their partners — into the shelter where they could experience autonomy despite the constraints of a communal living environment. The concept and conflict of having rules in the shelter have been repeatedly recycled and re-silenced throughout the movement to end violence against women. This manual tells how Missouri’s project became a living laboratory to answer the question, “What would happen if there weren’t rules?”

This first-hand account of Missouri’s project to reduce rules in domestic violence shelters offers practical tips for other state Coalitions, programs, and individual advocates interested in this approach. It includes the history of the project, examples of common challenges and successes, and logistics of implementation. Surveys, suggestions, and the philosophy the Missouri programs followed are also in this “How-to” guide, funded by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV).

The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Resources on Examining Rules in Shelter

For discussion on rules and programs that have worked to examine their rules, go to and click on the “advocacy” section. You will find such articles as:

Moving from Rules to Rights and Responsibilities, How we Gave Up Curfew, Rules: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Legal Remedies for Domestic Violence Immigrant Victims

Basic Information on Violence Against Women Act Self-Petition (VAWA) Visas, T-Visas (victims of trafficking), and U-Visas (victims of crime)

This website provides information on visas available to battered immigrant victims of domestic violence. On the left-hand side under “federal laws”, click on VAWA, U-visa, or T-visa information. It includes information on basic information and definitions, who is eligible for what type of visa, what kind of documentation a person has to have, what the person has to do (such as cooperate with law enforcement) to qualify for the visa, and definitions of important terms.

Batterers Intervention Programming

ODVN revised Batterer’s Intervention Standards:

The BIC created the first Standards for Batterers Intervention in the early 1990s and published the revised version in 1998. Although adherence is voluntary in Ohio, the Standards continue to provide direction and support in program development for BIPs.  The BIC also developed an addendum to the Standards, The Self-Evaluation Tool for Batterers Intervention Programs, in 2002, to assist BIPs and other community agencies assess and improve their local efforts.  In 2009, the BIC started the process of the second revision of the Standards. It was time to update the document as knowledge and information on batterers’ intervention have evolved.

The Standards are based on a feminist perspective which believes that domestic violence is gendered in nature: it is an instrument of oppression that arises from the patriarchal cultural and institutional beliefs that support men’s power over women.  It is important to note that the patriarchy does not only support sexism but also supports racism, heterosexism, classism, and other oppression that allows one group’s dominance over another.  In this revision, as we strive to create a document that addresses the growing diversity in Ohio with a feminist analysis in mind, we have added a section on working with marginalized communities, including women who use force (WWUF), immigrant/refugee, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) and other communities.

While the Standards go through revisions from time to time, the main theme of the Standards must remain the same: BIPs need to work within the coordinated community effort in keeping victim safety first and holding batterers accountable.

A note on the use of language: Although women can perpetrate violence against their intimate partners, the vast majority of cases that BIPs work with are men’s violence against women. Therefore, throughout this document, the male pronouns are used for batterers while female pronouns are used for their partners, except in the contexts where same-sex relationship violence or women’s use of force is discussed specifically.

Reproductive Coercion and the Connection Between Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence

Futures Without Violence Project Connect Resources

Violence. Reproductive Health. Different issues. Different places to go for help. Different conversations. That’s the way it works today – in politics, health care, the public discourse. But that’s not the way it works in real life. Not for millions of women, especially young adults, whose reproductive health is affected by sexual and domestic violence.

This project, this website, is about telling our stories, finding a common language, sharing the truth. Read about women with stories to tell, and tell yours. Learn about the reproductive health consequences of violence and sexual coercion. Say “no more” to reproductive coercion. Know more about how to stop it. Say more to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Confidentiality and Confidentiality Releases

Confidentiality: An Advocate’s Guide

Confidentiality and privilege are key to keeping battered women safe and represent the cornerstones of all successful advocacy and shelter programs. This guide is intended to familiarize advocates with a variety of laws, policies, requirements, and best practices on the topic of confidentiality.

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