Importance of a Fact Based
Definition of Domestic Violence

Without understanding the definition of domestic violence, you cannot properly identify it. One must understand what it is, and then look for the signs of domestic violence to avoid becoming stuck in a cycle of destruction.

It has become well established that unidentified domestic abuse or unsafe intervention in family violence situations contributes to poor outcomes for families. Unfortunately, the various forms of domestic mistreatment between partners and within families pose significant barriers to detection and healthy escape.

The fact is: intimate relations are involved and complicated. But, victims must be extremely careful not to use the intricacies of their relationships to excuse harmful abuse. Counselors and experts will understand everything that is going on in a victim's life and can help the victim to act with wisdom and street-smarts in deciding whether a partner is safe and how to react.


Efforts are being made to better assess the occurrence of intimate relationship violence and help victims overcome the barriers to finding safety. Below are some of the programs that a potential victim should ask about. 

Child Family Services Reviews

The CFSR (child family services reviews) is a partnership established between states and the U.S. Children’s Bureau to improve the child welfare system’s outcomes. The CFSR process is designed to evaluate a state’s child welfare system to determine how well the system performs in promoting outcomes for the safety, permanence and well-being for children. Round two of the CFSR began in the spring of 2007.

Why is the CFSR process important to victims? Because if you are a victim, you have every right to request excellent performance from the government social services agencies, especially when children are involved. Failures to protect families not only damage those directly involved, but also injure our society. For that reason, State child welfare systems must be effective. 

Program Improvement Plans for Social Services

Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) for the public child welfare system of each state have been implemented. Stakeholders are provided with government formulated guides and oversight to develop effective PIPs for achieving safety, permanency, and well-being in intimate partner violence (IPV) cases, and to identify or anticipate related technical assistance needs. A victim of domestic violence is a primary stakeholder and should always insist on an effective program to help them to escape the cycle of domestic abuse

Conclusion = Proper ID of Your Partner's Abuse is Key

One of the most basic needs of a good government system for helping in IPV cases is identification of abuse through use of a factual definition of domestic abuse. Our states need to recognize not only physical abuse in relationships, but also verbal, emotional and sexual mistreatment.

Understanding the definition of domestic violence and identifying it everywhere that it is occurring requires a spirit of partnership between the government, the community and individuals. Victims must feel welcome to report violence and must feel that they will be protected regardless of the outcome of their report. Only through this relationship of trust between victims, community and government can abuse be properly recognized, diagnosed and relieved. 

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