1 Intimate Partner Abuse Screening Tool For Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Relationships A Project of the GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition Presented by: Shakira Cruz Román & Tre Andre Valentine, The Network/La Red
2 Survivor-led, social justice organization dedicated to ending partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender (LGBQ/T) communities, we also work with SM and polyamorous communities Bilingual (English/Spanish) services include: 90 Hour Hotline Emergency Safehome Advocacy Support Groups (In-person & Phone-based) Organizing, i Outreach, and Education Technical Assistance
3 Message Behind the Message AGE: How old were you when you received this message? MESSAGE: What is the earliest message you remember receiving about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and/or Transgender people? WHO: Who did you receive the message from? +, -, NEUTRAL: Was it positive, negative or neutral?
4 Partner Abuse* A systematic pattern of behaviors where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs, and/or actions of their partner, someone they are dating, or someone they are close to. *Also called domestic violence, dating violence, battering, and/or intimate t partner violence. Crosses all ethnic, racial, social, class, and economic lines
5 Abuse is NOT: Just happening in heterosexual relationships (where neither partner is transgender) About size, strength, or who is butch or more masculine About both partners just fighting it out all the time. Partner abuse is not mutual. Although the survivor may defend themselves, there is a difference between self-defense and abuse. Partner Abuse is about using control to gain power over 1 in 4 Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender people are abused by a partner during their lifetime.
6 Differences from Straight DV LGBQ/T communities do not identify partner abuse as a community issue leading to increased isolation Survivor is likely to have same support system, such as friends, social spaces, etc., as abuser Internalized homo/bi/transphobia can result in increase in self-blame Sexuality and/or gender identity blamed for abuse by family or friends Less validation of relationship and self Lack of mainstream visibility and heterosexism and homo/bi/trans/phobia in mainstream resources
7 Reluctance to screening Some may see screening as... Antithetical to a feminist response to self-identified survivors of domestic violence Not acceptable, regarding g state standards for client services Fear of being judgmental: Why do I get to determine? Double-standard
8 Abusers often Why screen? See themselves as victims Check on whether their partner is seeking services Try to cut their partner off from services
9 Survivors may have Why screen? Used coercive/aggressive behaviors as a strategy to survive abuse Fought back Been labeled as abusers
10 Why screen? Remember! Restraining orders Previous arrests Previous stays in shelter Use of community-based DV/SA services, etc. Cannot be counted on as reliable indicators of abuser/survivor identification
11 Alternatives to screening (These are NOT RECOMMENDED) Results of alternative strategies Provide services to the wrong person Deny services to the correct person Set survivor up
12 Alternatives to screening (These are NOT RECOMMENDED) Harmful messages sent by alternative strategies Mutual abuse is real LGBQ/T domestic violence not that serious LGBQ/T abusers are not that dangerous
13 Why Screen? Partner abuse is about one person establishing power and control over another person in a relationship. Many behaviors can be used by a person to survive abuse or by a person to establish control over their partner. Screening lets us look at the whole picture for a pattern of abuse, regardless of the gender of individuals involved.
14 Screening: What you already know Supportive listening- you know how to listen and ask questions in a dynamic way You can recognize domestic violence- you know it is one person exerting power control over another You know tactics of abuse
15 Things to consider Screening is a process- There are no simple checklists. Go with your gut- if something feels wrong, keep exploring. We never stop screening- listen for red flags Screening is a team event- stop the conversation at least once to check in with a coworker. We screen at every level- staff, board, volunteers, and callers. We have found abusers at every level.
16 Process of Screening Review definition of abuse Gather information Support the interviewee Analyze information Check in with team
17 Gathering Information Can you tell me a little about what s been going on? General Questions: What led you to call us today? What is your most pressing concern? Is this typical of what happens in your relationship?
18 More on Gathering Information AkWHAT? Ask..not WHY?
19 Gathering Information Questions about Tactics and What are your fights about? What are they like? Where and when do they happened? behaviors What s the worst thing your partner has done? What do you do when you are angry? What does your partner do?
20 Gathering Information Specifics about the incidents id of Can you give me an example of abuse What was happening right before the incident? What happened during the fight? What was the argument about? How did the fight end?
21 Gathering Information Questions about Patterns of How are decisions made in the relationship? control Do you have contact with friends, family or other supports? What happens when you say no? Does your partner pressure you into having sex? Who controls the money? Do you or your partner ever lie? When and about what? Do either of you go to work or school? Does your partner interfere with that?
22 Gathering Information From Outside Sources Respect confidentiality and safety Do not share information with either party until you have determined who is the abuser Take restraining orders, arrests, and other outside sources with a grain of salt- ask around incidents for context
23 Process of Screening Review definition of abuse Gather information Support the interviewee Analyze information Check in with team
24 Support the Interviewee Ask permission to ask question Listen and respond to feelings as well as answers Stay calm and centered Let them tell their whole story before asking questions Educate/Inform the interviewee Give permission to stop
25 Process of Screening Review definition of abuse Gather information Support the interviewee Analyze information Check in with team
26 Analyzing Information Look at the whole relationship not tjust one incident: id 1 C t t I t t Eff t 1. Context, Intent, Effect 2. Empathy 3. Agency 4. Assertion of Will 5. Entitlement 6. Fear
27 Activity Write down 2 different specific tactics of abuse that an abuser could use to control their partner Example: controlling the money, pressuring your partner to have sex. Briefly explain to your neighbor how an abuser might use each tactic to control their partner.
28 Activity it Part 2 Take a minute to think of ways that survivors might use the same behaviors as a means of resisting abuse. Example: controlling the money, pressuring your partner to have sex. Share your feelings, y g, ideas, and questions with your neighbor.
29 Analyzing Information Context, t Intent, t Effect Context in which behavior occurred Intent of its use (controlling partner or gaining g control of oneself) Effect of behavior (is person afraid or Effect of behavior (is person afraid or have they established control?)
30 Context, Intent, Effect Example: Survivor Abuser Incident: Two women who are dating are in a car. The woman in the passenger seat punches the woman who is driving. Context: My partner was driving the Context: My partner was driving. We car and screaming at me and driving were fighting and she pulled the car dangerously. At a red light, I punched over and tried to get out to leave. I her and ran out of the car. punched her and told her to keep Intent: To get free of a dangerous situation, self defense Effect: Survivor gets away and flees to a friend s house, fearing the repercussions of her action. driving. Intent: Control partner, keep her in the car Effect: Abuser gains power and control through fear and violence.
31 Analyzing Information Empathy Survivors will often (not always) empathize with the feelings, opinions or reactions of their partner. They may make excuses for their partner s behavior. Abusers often have trouble empathizing with the survivor and will blame them for the abuse or be dismissive of their feelings.
32 Looking for Empathy Ask questions about the partner feelings and notice whether the response is dismissive or empathetic. Take note of when there is a lack of information or lack of accounting for the partner s feelings. (Lack of Empathy) Take note of when there is a lot of explaining or understanding of the partner s behavior. (Empathy)
33 Empathy Examples: Survivor Empathy for partner Abuser Lack of empathy for partner I know she just lost her job and is going through a tough time right now and that s why she is acting this way. I know his childhood issues of abandonment make him very insecure and that s why he wants to always know where I am. She blew up at me because she just can t handle things. I know she lost her job this week but why should I pay for her being a flake? He is taking it out on me because he just can t get his act together. He is a mess because of some abandonment issues he just can t get over.
34 Analyzing Information Agency Agency is making decisions i for oneself, having control over one s own life.
35 Looking for Agency Ask yourself: Who is making the decisions? Were these decisions coerced? What are the consequences for making decisions that the partner doesn t like? Whose life is getting smaller?
36 Agency Examples: Survivor Loss of freedom to make decisions for themselves She doesn t like me hanging out with other people, so I don t really have anyone I can talk to. He called my work so many times a day that I finally got fired. Now he wants me to stay home and do the housework while he goes to work. He doesn t want me to get another job. Abuser Freedom to make decisions for themselves and within the relationship We like to spend all our time together. Her old friends were always trying to break us up and get in our business so we don t talk to them any more. We decided that I make enough money for him to stay home and take care of the house. I actually kind of envy him. He complains that he misses it, but he just needs to realize how lucky he is.
37 Analyzing Information Assertion of Will The abuser exerts power OVER the survivor to get their way. The survivor may try to say no, set boundaries, or make decisions but the abuser does not respect these choices.
38 Looking for Assertion of Will Look at the patterns of assertion of will. Who is getting their way? Look at: Are there times where one partner sets a boundary but the other partner does something anyway? Is this a pattern?
39 Assertion of Will Examples: Survivor Boundaries and decisions are not respected She knows I have asthma and I m allergic to cats but she brought home a cat anyway. I m paying rent but she still won t listen to me. I started using the name Maria and asked my friends to call me she. Everyone is trying to be supportive but they are confused because my boyfriend still calls me by my old name. Abuser Does not respect boundaries or decisions I found this homeless kitten on the street and brought her home. I don t know why she s complaining. Her allergies aren t that bad. There s no way I m going to give up this cute little kitten. Last year, he started going g by the name Maria and wants to be called she. I told our friends that my boyfriend may cross-dress but I m gay and I am dating a man not a woman.
40 Analyzing Information Entitlement Entitlement is an attitude where someone believes they have the right to have their way at the expense of others. Entitlement comes from a lack of empathy Entitlement is often associated with a me-first attitude, asserting their will over others
41 Entitlement Examples: Survivor Does not feel like their needs are as important as their partners I m the only one working and we can barely pay the bills. I tried to set a budget but then I come home and she s bought a new designer purse. I know she likes nice things but she hasn t worked in over six months. I know that my boyfriend smokes but I told him when he moved in that he couldn t smoke in the house. My asthma is so bad I may end up in the hospital, but he smokes inside anyway. Abuser Believes their needs are more important My partner always tries to control the money and blows up at me for buying the things I need. I know she s working overtime to support us both but I need some of the finer things in life to be happy. I have the right to smoke in my own home. I shouldn t be forced outside in the cold to smoke. He s just trying to control my smoking.
42 Analyzing Information Fear Is one partner in fear of the other? Look at actions and behaviors: Is one person telling you they are afraid? Is one person afraid to go home? Is one person planning around safety? Has one person tried to flee or hide? Is one person making decisions because they are afraid of consequences? Make sure to contextualize what they are afraid of An abuser may state they are afraid, but upon further probing, you may find their fear is around not being able to control their partner.
43 Examples of fear: Survivor Changes behavior because of fear Abuser Fear is about losing control of partner I stopped inviting my friends over the house on Friday nights because she always comes home drunk and wants to start trouble. I just don t want them to see what she does to me when she s like that. The last time we fought she disappeared for 3 days and didn t return my calls. I was so scared- I had no idea where she was staying. I went to each of our friend s houses to find her so I could talk to her. My partner doesn t like me going to AA, so I have to go on my lunch break at work so he won t find out. I hate it when my partner goes to AA. I get really scared about who he might be talking to there.
44 Analyzing Information Look at the whole relationship not tjust one incident: id 1 C t t I t t Eff t 1. Context, Intent, Effect 2. Empathy 3. Agency 4. Assertion of Will 5. Entitlement 6. Fear
45 Process of Screening Review definition of abuse Gather information Support the interviewee Analyze information Check in with team
46 Check in with someone from your team Check in- get input and check for red flags. Try letting someone else screen the person for awhile to get a different perspective. Try having two people screen together. If you are feeling triggered and/or confused- you might be talking to an abuser- remember to pay attention to your gut! An abuser will not share everything with you and may lie. Try to read between the lines- what is not being said?
47 Process of Screening Review definition of abuse Gather information Support the interviewee Analyze information Check in with team
48 It s an abuser! now what? We tell the abuser, From what you have shared with us, at this time we believe that you ve been abusive. We do not offer services for people who have been abusive. We refer them to batterer s intervention a program We refer them to batterer s intervention- a program called Emerge that works with LGBQ/T people who have been abusive
49 It s a survivornow what? Until we are sure we are speaking to a survivor, we do not offer services or give referrals that may be limited resources. When writing letters of support, we clarify, At this time, from our conversations, we believe that this person is the survivor. We continue to be alert to any red flags and continue screening.
50 Elements e of Screening Context, Intent and Effect Agency Assertion of Will Empathy Entitlement t Fear
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