Treating Victims of Domestic Violence

Technical BulletinLast updated Monday, November 1, 1999
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The problem was that there were no domestic violence training programs available for firefighters and EMS personnel. The purpose of this paper was to create a training program for firefighters and EMS personnel with the potential for marketing. The research questions were: 1. What are the goals of a domestic violence training program? 2. What is the content of a domestic violence training program? 3. Can such a course be created and delivered with the potential for marketing? This research paper utilized Action Research. As a civilized society, it is often uncomfortable to acknowledge the fact that battering is the single major cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States today. Although police departments receive many hours of domestic violence training, at present, there are no training courses available to firefighters and EMS personnel.The task faced by this author was to create a domestic violence training program which could be delivered throughout the country. Five goals were chosen. They were: 1. to teach providers how to respond to and recognize domestic violence incidents; 2. to promote an understanding of the dynamics of the cyclical nature of the abuse syndrome; 3. to train providers to treat medical emergencies while maintaining the safety of the victim and others; 4. to teach effective assessment and interventions techniques, and 5. to encourage full cooperation between firefighter/EMS providers, law enforcement personnel, and social service providers. After the goals of the course were established, particular modules could be selected. These included facts about domestic violence, abuse laws and a profile of the batterer. Answers to such questions as: why women stay and why men batter were also included.Other modules selected because of their relevancy to domestic violence were the Cycle of Violence, the Battering Syndrome and the Stockholm Syndrome, as well as Crisis, Crisis Intervention, Effective Intervention and Intervention Skills. All are closely related to family issues and violence mitigation. The result of the research paper was a course for the treatment of victims of domestic violence certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of Emergency Services for three credit hours. Recommendations from this research paper were that fire departments and EMS organizations throughout the country must recognize the need for members to receive adequate domestic violence training. This has been realized in part by the preliminary marketing of the training program. Several fire and EMS departments have requested the program for delivery in their organization.

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