How is family violence treated?
How is family violence treated?

There are ways to treat the problem of family violence, but the first priority is to ensure the safety of the victims of abuse. This may require calling the police and perhaps going to a shelter. This can be very disruptive to your life, but at least you and your children will be safe. Then you must seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in domestic violence.

Treatment usually involves several approaches. Your counselor will need to conduct a complete assessment of the entire family. If the abuser or the victim has a substance abuse problem, then that will have to be addressed in the treatment program. If the abuser or victim has a mental illness, that must be treated as well. Other types of treatment include anger management, parenting classes, and talk therapy. In cases where the abuser refuses to participate in treatment, it is still important to get help from a domestic violence professional who can help you protect yourself and your children. Even in cases where the abuser is removed from the family and is no longer a threat, the emotional trauma can have lifetime consequences if the victims and their family do not receive treatment.

To learn more:

How to choose a psychologist
(American Psychological Association)
The American Psychological Association explains how therapy works, what “confidentiality” means, how to choose a psychologist, and how insurance may cover the expense.
The Effects of Trauma Do Not Have to Last a Lifetime
(American Psychological Association)
When people experience a trauma, such as violent personal assaults, some will experience debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily life. This is called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) . This article discusses psychological interventions that are effective in treating PTSD.
Violence Prevention Office
(American Psychological Association (APA Online))
This web site offers helpful information for victims, abusers and people who want to help.

next » How can I prevent family violence?

Written by: Laura Cousineau, M.L.S.
Reviewed by: Jim Hernandez, L.M.S.W.
Last Modified: Monday September 21, 2009 11:03 AM