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What Every Abused Woman Must Know When Seeking Help for Domestic Abuse

The Battered Women's Movement and Clinical Psychology are as far apart as the North and South Pole. However, many people outside of these circles/disciplines believe domestic abuse treatment and advocacy are sub-specialties of the practice of psychology. Not at all so! After I fled from the danger I lived in Chicago, I retreated into a life of solace and wrote All But My Soul: Abuse Beyond Control.

Creating that publication was the most amazing experience of my life?right up there with the birth of a child. It was my fourth child. With the enthusiasm of a child, I approached individuals in the domestic violence arena, eager to share what I had learned and produced in the manuscript. Initially, I was not received well and couldn't understand why, until an individual from the inner circle of the Battered Women's Movement shared the inside politics with me. "You'll have a hard time breaking into this line of work," she said, "because you are a psychologist.

" Funny thing is I thought this was my asset, until she helped me realized it was my liability among battered women. She explained that historically the psychologists were used in re-victimizing victims of domestic abuse at the bequest of their perpetrators. And over the years, actually decades, they became the enemies of battered women. I have since learned that this is understandably so, especially for women who have resided in domestic violence shelters.

It is estimated that over 90% of women going through the abuse shelter system will be "certified" (i.e. blessed with a psychiatric diagnosis) by virtue of their navigating the mental health care system?while in route to safety?as a survivor of domestic violence. This truly disturbed me, as a practicing psychologist and domestic abuse survivor.

Even more disturbing was the fact that I could find little to no domestic violence curricula offered in psychological training. In no way am I suggesting that one not seek the services of domestic abuse advocacy; to the contrary. I strongly believe in the work of domestic abuse advocates.

However, I recognize that when utilizing domestic abuse advocacy, one must be mindful of the importance of also securing the expertise of a mental health professional, authentically knowledgeable in domestic violence. The front line treatment for domestic violence and the actual practice of professional psychology are truly as far apart as the automotive industry and the practice of dentistry. I vowed to commit myself to helping bridge this huge knowledge and service gap. The Intimate Partner Abuse Screen stems from this commitment.

It seeks to identify the psychosocial, behavioral construct "intimate partner violence" in a way that is accurate to domestic abuse advocacy, while being psychologically and personally insightful to the user. For more information on this interactive online test, please visit the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen linked below. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, speaker and leading expert in identifying the subtle communication patterns of battering relationships.

Author of All But My Soul: Abuse Beyond Control, Dr. King developed the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen to help people properly identify, understand and stop domestic abuse before it spirals out of control. www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com ęCopyright 2007 Dr.

Jeanne King Consultants, LLC www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com All Rights Reserved. This article is available for reprint so long as the author's copyright, bio byline and contact information are included.

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, speaker and leading expert in identifying the subtle communication patterns of battering relationships. Author of All But My Soul: Abuse Beyond Control, Dr. King developed the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen to help people properly identify, understand and stop domestic abuse before it spirals out of control. www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com



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