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July/August 2008Vol. 9, No. 6Guide for Advocates on the Co-Occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment

Domestic violence and child maltreatment are often linked in ways that have serious consequences for the safety of the children and victimized parent. A new guidebook for advocates helping domestic violence victims focuses on the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, describing supportive interventions and advocacy, as well as addressing such topics as implications for confidentiality, information sharing, and mandatory reporting.

Helping Battered Women and Their Children: A Guide for Domestic Violence Advocates on the Co-Occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment was prepared for the St. Louis County Greenbook Initiative and funded by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. This initiative strives to improve outcomes in households where there is co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. The guidebook is designed to help domestic violence agencies, courts, and others:

  • Enhance advocates' knowledge about co-occurrence
  • Ensure advocates have the resources they need to respond to child maltreatment
  • Foster cross-system collaboration to provide safety for the victims and ensure that the batterer is held responsible
  • Offer guidelines to advocates on how to respond when either the batterer or the victimized parent is maltreating the children
  • Find supportive ways to assist battered mothers who maltreat their children

A section on cultural competence provides guidelines to help advocates recognize and respect cultural and ethnic differences.

The guidebook was written by Nicole Baran and Lauren J. Litton and is available on the Greenbook Initiative website: