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Skills and Characteristics of Mental Health Essay

Domestic violence recently attracted international media attention because of the of high profile status of the victims and abusers (e. g. Ray Rice, Nicole Simpson, Rihanna, and Chris Brown). The remainder of the victims remains nameless and faceless, while one in four women experiences abuse during their lifetime. Domestic abuse is also one of the leading causes of homelessness. Spouses or partners murder one in three of all women who die by homicide. Domestic violence continues to rise among women of all races, social status, and ages (“Safe Horizon”, 2014). This paper is the study of how crisis intervention in regard to services is provided to victims of domestic violence.

The study includes a summary of how the role of the government agent differs from that of a social worker regarding skills, characteristics, and actions. The paper also contains detailed information pertaining to general attributes and expertise required to convey mental health and crisis intervention effectively. The three tiers of the criminal justice system are instrumental in uncovering cases of abuse, mitigating through intervention, and punishing batterers. The paper summarizes the roles of the criminal justice system pertaining to policing, courts, and corrections regarding domestic violence.


Services provided to domestic violence victims vary from region to region within the United States. All states provide what the writer considers to be the most important in regard to the well-being of the victims. Discovery, counseling, medical, mental well-being, and safety are of the utmost important to the victims.

The discovery of domestic violence usually happens through contact with medical, legal, mental health care, or social service professionals. The discovery process only in recent years requires reporting instances of domestic abuse as part of ethical and professional conduct.

Healthcare service is crucial to the safety of abuse victims. Providers have the discretion in choosing to report suspected cases because reporting by healthcare providers can do more to endanger the victim because of the possibility that the victim may forego medical treatment received from their abuse. However, there are four injury categories that can not be circumvented in regard to reporting. The four categories are listed below:

The use of a firearms or weapons

When there is a clear violation of a criminal statute.

Resulting from physical violence.

Through non-accidental means. (e. g. reporting of domestic violence in states that require and do not have reporting laws (“Futures Without Violence”, 2012).

The assessment process, which is also referred to as “clinical assessment”, is important in that it provides useful information to social workers and law enforcement. A History of abuse in the form of threatening, hitting, substance abuse, coerced sexual activity, and property destruction. Oversensitivity and concern regarding the victims whereabouts are also signs that are indicative of possible abuse. Clinical assessments help to uncover abuse because of the low percentage of women that seek help.

There is a specific rule that applies to victims in light of a lack of first time reporting According to Walker (1984), “When a woman calls or comes in to report a battering, believe her and start intervention immediately” (p. 122). The medical setting (e. g. emergency rooms, family practitioner’s offices, maternity wards), are not places where abuse assessment is not normally conducted. Because of the likelihood of denial in regard to admitting to the prevalence of abuse, the staff should explain that the assessment as a routine part of the examination.

Counseling services are available for medical and personal resource acquisition. There are resources available to help the family relocate, find legal services, and find shelter or transitional housing. Educational and job training are available for victims that make the decision to permanently leave their situation. The type of housing choice depends on if the victim plans to leave the situation permanently or has the possibility of reconciling with the abuser.

The Violence Against Women Act of 2013 strengthens the 2005 version by enhancing housing procurement for victims in the form of vouchers and grants. The legislation thwarts discrimination and ensures that public housing is available, and groups abuse victims in the same category as people with disabilities. Domestic violence victims and homelessness are synonymous. The situation usually results in no place for a woman to go, especially with the added burden of dependent children (“National Network To End Domestic Violence “, 2014).

The aspect of safety strengthens public safety in regard to confidentiality and provides a safe haven for victims and their children. Restraining orders, and assurance of criminal prosecution also provides a sense of safety and security for the victims.


The expertise of the social workers includes the ability to work collaboratively with other agencies to ensure that the victim’s needs are met. Compassion for the victim is imperative, and the social workers should never take on the role as a judge.

Good listening ensure that the victim properly identifies what the circumstances regarding their particular situation are.

The process of responding with the proper reinforcement and encouragement that lets the victim know that they did the right thing by calling.

Support is a imperative because it allows the victim to vent and talk about the abuse. While being supportive is important, it is sometimes to confuse the process of sympathy with empathy. A professional social worker should never confuse or misconstrue the meanings.

Crisis intervention requires the ability to facilitate the victim in finding the courage to exert control over the situation by making rational decisions in regard to their situation.

The instinct to gauge how serious the situation in regard to the probability of serious harm or even death may depend on the determination of the maturity and competence of the worker. The worker cannot coerce the victim to leave but can make a recommendation (James & Gilliland, 2013, ” Intervention Strategies”).


Social workers and government agents are both government agents because they both provide services to people within a jurisdictional area. Laws, codes, and statutes within the particular jurisdiction govern the jurisdiction. The three government agencies of the criminal justice system provide specialized services in regard to policing, courts, and corrections.

The government agents are responsible for making laws, provide oversight, make rules, regulations, ethical standards, and license requirements for social workers, and mental health facilitators (e. g. The Department of Justice is responsible for the ethical conduct and standards of all police, courts and correctional facility in the United States of America. Government agents also provide grants for different social service programs (e. g. The Office on Violence Against women).

The skills of the government agents require the ability to make laws based on the will of the people in the form of legislation. Government agents also enforce government laws according to their jurisdiction and represent all aspects of the criminal justice system. The government agents are located within local, state, and federal government.

As a result of involvement in the criminal justice system, a social worker or mental health professional may provide services to offenders or victims of crimes. In regard to domestic violence, workers are defined by ethics, cultural competence, compassion, and the ability to work collaboratively. Social work is client-centered and focuses on the well-being of individuals. Their ethics reaches out into all aspects of interaction, to include professional, personal, colleagues, and society as a whole (“Social Work Search.com”, 2007).


This paper presents a clear summary of the characteristics, skills and action, of government agents and social workers. The summary contains facts and chronicles how domestic violence affects the actions of social workers and mental health facilitators in regard to providing services to this segment of crime victims. The paper contains facts and statistics as to the serious effect of domestic violence on women and public safety.

The paper provides details of the function of government agents in regard to their role in the regulation of all aspects of the criminal justice system. Summarizes and provides examples of how their roles differentiate in the aspect of facilitators to policy makers. Domestic violence deserves the attention that other serious crimes get in regard to policy, social intervention, and prosecution of those who practice domestic violence.


Futures Without Violence. (2012). Retrieved from http://healthcaresaboutipv.org/wp-



James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2013). _Crisis Intervention Strategies_ (7th ed.). Retrieved from

The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

National Network to End Domestic Violence. (2014). Retrieved from http://nnedv.org/policy/


Safe Horizon. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-


Social Work Search.Com. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.socialworksearch.com/html/


Walker, L. E. (1984). _The battered woman syndrome_. New York, New York: Springer.

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