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Helping an Abused Woman

Helping an Abused Woman:

101 Things to Know, Say and Do

by Linda Baker & Alison Cunningham (2008)
ISBN 978-1-895953-41-1

This resource, the first of the "Helping Hands" Guides on Skill Building and Tools for Helpers and Healers, can be used by anyone who supports women. Topics addressed give readers insight into how abuse affects women and gives concrete ideas to apply in their work with women. You'll find concrete "tool box ideas" for interventions with women, short summaries of the latest research, and handouts to supplement your one-on-one or group work with women.

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Helping an Abused Woman

Table of Contents

  • 10 Assumptions About Abuse of Women in Intimate Relationships

  • 5 Reasons all Helping Professionals Should Understand Abuse Dynamics

  • 5 Destructive Consequences of Abuse for Women's Lives

  • 10 Principles Informing Work with an Abused Woman

  • 5 Paradoxes of Abuse

  • 10 Features of Listening to Abuse Disclosures

  • 5 Common Characteristics of Controlling Men

  • 10 Common Control Tactics

  • 10 Points About Rationalizations

  • 10 Points about Coping with Abuse

  • 10 Feelings and Thoughts Blocking Emotional Leaving

  • 10 Promises not to Make Women

  • 1 Final Thought

  • Handouts for Women

    • Ideas for Using the Handouts
    • Myths About Abuse in Relationships
    • The Power & Control Wheel
    • The WEB Scale: What Abuse Feels Like
    • The Equality Wheel
    • Rights for Women in Intimate Relationships
    • My Wheel for My Life
    • Thinking About My Safety
    • You Know What You Need: Ask for it!
    • Excuses, Excuses
    • I'm not Crazy, I�m not a Liar, and I'm not Stupid
    • What "Entitlement" Looks Like
    • What I Can and Cannot Change
    • What is Coping?
  • About the second guide in this series: Helping Abused Women in Shelters

"Tool Box" Ideas for Practice

  • Key messages
  • Wheel variations
  • Gender-neutral language at intake
  • Early warning signs of an abusive relationship
  • The WEB Scale
  • Uses for the Equality Wheel
  • My wheel for my life
  • She knows what she needs so help her ask for it
  • Active listening to aid advocacy
  • Interviewing vs. listening
  • Questions to start a conversation about abuse
  • Strength-based intervention
  • Excuses, excuses
  • Consequences of the 5 paradoxes for women
  • Reinforcing reality
  • Master of the remote control
  • The power and control model for women's substance abuse
  • Closing the door slowly
  • The concept of coping
  • Having a conversation about coping

Research Summaries

The latest and highest quality research addressing a relevant topic is briefly summarized in small highlight boxes throughout the text. These topics are addressed.

  • Violence and conflict reported by couples
  • Situational aggression vs. coercive control
  • What abuse feels like
  • Abused women's views on universal screening for abuse
  • Partner interference with access to health services
  • Women's preferred responses to abuse disclosures
  • Mental health needs of abused women
  • Tailoring interventions to women's experience of violence
  • What makes a good listener?
  • Justifications for hitting a woman
  • Counterintuitive victim behaviour and criminal prosecutions
  • Severity of violence as a predictor of leaving
  • Predictors of "leaving" abusive relationships
  • Incomplete and delayed disclosure
  • Feedback from women about how NOT to respond to disclosures
  • A typology of stalkers
  • Control tactics involving children
  • Fear of child abduction
  • Profiles of abusive men
  • Men's accounts of their abusive behaviour
  • How men explain their violence
  • I didn't do it and, if I did, it wasn't my fault
  • Psychopaths vs. abusers
  • Coping strategies of women who stay
  • The Intimate Partner Violence Strategies Index
  • Abused women from collectivist societies
  • Men's treatment as the "last hope"

Why 101 Things?

The 101 format reflects our commitment to producing training material to help busy people learn or up-grade skills in a convenient way, respectful of their multiple commitments in life. There are no recipe approaches or cookie-cutter prescriptions for working with abused women and their children. And we don't want to imply by the 101 title that there are. But there is a lot to know about this field and usually no post-secondary educational or training program teaches everything people want to learn. Each woman is unique and at a singular place in her life. She deserves advocacy and support matching and meeting her needs. Instead of prescriptions, we offer principles to guide interventions, flexible tools for practice, and guidance on skill building. We assume that you know the woman best and you need and want tools and tips to use flexibly as the situation dictates.

Ordering Information

This book can be purchased for $30.00 plus shipping and handling. When purchased as a pair with the shelter book, the cost is $45.00. See the Publication Order Form for more information.


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