Are first responders judgmental towards domestic abuse victims?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2016 | Domestic Violence

One of the things that could get in the way of domestic violence victims feeling like they can reach out for help is fear. One type of fear such an individual may experience is fear of being judged by others.

Given this, it is incredibly important for those who interact with domestic violence sufferers in connection to their job to act in a judgment-free way towards them.

One class of individuals that can end up encountering domestic violence victims very soon after domestic abuse incidents are first responders. Thus, how these individuals act towards domestic violence victims can potentially have major impacts on how big of a fear of judgment from others a domestic violence sufferer has in relation to seeking out help.

Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that first responders may not be as judgment-free towards family violence sufferers as one would hope.

In the study, hundreds of first responders in Florida were asked about their opinions on domestic violence after undergoing an online domestic violence training course. Rather substantial portions (from around one-fifth to over one-third) of the first responders gave an affirmative or neutral response to statements like: battered women have a secret desire to be abused, domestic abuse victims are responsible for abuse committed against them when they remain with their abuser and domestic abuse is a normal response to frustration/stress.

Do you think such views are prevalent among first responders here in Texas? If so, what impact do you think the prevalence of such views is having on how first responders in the state treat domestic violence victims when giving them care?

The thing the study’s researchers pointed to as being important in preventing potentially service-quality-impacting judgmental views towards domestic violence victims from developing among first responders is proper and ongoing domestic violence education/training for first responders.

What sort of domestic violence education/training would you like to see first responders in Texas given?

Skilled family abuse attorneys understand how important judgment-free and caring help is for domestic violence victims. Such lawyers can provide domestic abuse sufferers with compassionate representation when helping them with legal matters.

Source: The Huffington Post, “How One Change In Policy Could Help Victims Of Domestic Violence,” Jenavieve Hatch, Jan. 18, 2016