Response-Based Practice With Victims of Family Violence and Abuse

Gillian Weaver-Dunlop, Cindy Ogden, & Anita Harder

     Effect-based approaches to counselling abused women have been useful in drawing attention to the issue of family violence and have helped garner support for services to abused women.  However, an unfortunate fallout of effects-based approaches has been a tendency to pathologize abused women and to overtly or covertly blame them for the abuse perpetrated upon them.  This presentation will highlight ways of working with abused women that counter pathologizing notions. We will discuss how we use a response-based approach to honour women's resistance to violence and abuse, highlight their pre-existing abilities, the dilemmas they face in dealing with their abusive partners, all that they do to protect their children and stand up for their dignity.  Case examples will be used throughout the presentation to illustrate the approach.