Multi-layered intervention for victims of domestic violence essay


Zoe, a girl ofabout 10 years old, was living with both parents with her youngerbrother. The family is unstable and characterized by domesticviolence. Her father is an alcoholic Zoe always her father with abottle of alcohol in his hand. The parents had frequent violence withthe father blaming her mother for various circumstances andsometimes, physical assaulted her mother. Their mother was alsoaffected by the violence since she was no longer happy according toZoe, and could also not care for her son. Therefore, it was upon Zoeto take care of her brother including changing his clothes andfeeding him. The young girl has been affected psychologically andemotional as she is not happy all the time whether or not her parentsare quarreling. Zoe had bruises on her face indicating that she wasassaulted physically. She once witnessed her father being arrested bythe police. After the arrest, she was adopted in by various families,but it never seemed to help her. No one understood her and therefore,she was always separated from the things she valued. She feelsunwanted and separated. She always behaved and reacted negativelytowards those who adopted her even when they meant good.


Zoe has been affected severely by the domestic violence and affectedher way of thinking and life at large. An appropriate intervention isthat which ensure that she is guaranteed an environment that promotesrestoration of her normal life before the violence. Ecologicallybased perspective is suitable since addresses all the aspects of aperson’s life. The life of a child like any other human being iscomposed of a set of interrelated structures. TALAY-ONGAN (2005)argues that a developing child has her own individual, biological andmaturational characteristic that influence and are influenced bytheir engagement with their surroundings. Ecological interventionmodel will address all the aspects of the environment of Zoe. Theenvironment of the girl and her younger brother is divided intomicrosystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.

The microsystemof Zoe and her brother refers to the immediate events andrelationships that surround the child. Parents and family members arethe most influential elements of the microsystem. The mesosystemshows the dynamic way various settings surrounding a child interactand support one another. Positive interaction, and support for theelements of the microsystem, such as parents, results in thecohesiveness of the developing child (MARTIN &amp FABES, 2009). Thefamilies that adopted Zoe should have considered her family needs andvalues to provide suitable support and environment. Exosystem iscomposed of the factors that children may have no direct contact withbut, influences children indirectly on their development. Forexample, the alcoholism of Zoe’s father influenced her life a lotsince it is the major contributor to the domestic violence. Theunhappiness if her mother stressed her she longed to see her motherhappy again. Macrosystem represents the cultural and socio-politicalstructures that have the potential of influencing children’sdevelopment. A multi-level intervention is, therefore, necessary toaddress the impacts of the violence on the victims as well as theperpetrators (ROBERTS, 2002).

Based on theecological perspective, there are four approaches that can be appliedto provide an all-dimension solution to the domestic violence and itsimpacts. The four approaches include: performing outreach assessmentand linkage intervention for victims and intervention for batterers(ROBERTS, 1996). Outreach is done to track for incidences of violenceas early as possible. The outreach is performed by social workerconcerned with children and domestic issues. Approximately 75% ofincidences of domestic violence are never reported or addressesappropriately. Neglect of report or absence of intervention measuresof domestic violence only enables the abuse and its impact to persistand worsen. The outreach program identifies domestic violence and itsvictims such as Zoe, her mother, and younger brother, and formulatesa holistic intervention.

The assessmentand linkage are the second stages which are very critical for thetherapeutic intervention. A comprehensive assessment is appropriatesince domestic violence lacks a defined explanatory theory. Theassessment is conducted based on the needs, interactions, and valuesof Zoe’s family. The microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem andmacrosystem of Zoe and her family is assessed and the resultingimplications used to make linkage and suitable intervention decisions(ROBERTS, 1996). Victims such as Zoe, her mother, and younger brotherwere affected emotionally, psychologically and physically. Medical orpsychological interventions may be used. During the third stage, thestrength, abilities, weaknesses, resources and other aspects of thevictims must be identified and addressed appropriately.

Cognitivebehavioral therapy (CBT) can be used since it is specific to eachvictim. CBT may involve peer-counseling program to provide validationand friendship for Zoe, her mother, and brother. Programs thataddress the socio-political aspects of the victims are important.Medical treatment can be sought to treat the bruises. Theintervention programs for the victims are conducted in a gradualprocess. Reunion of the family is important since they form thecrucial part of a child’s microsystem. Coordination andimplementation of a treatment program for the perpetrators ofdomestic violence such as Zoe’s father are essential. Suchintervention ensures that the batterers take responsibility for theirbehavior and stress the need for ending violence and providealternatives to violence. The intervention may include emotionalawareness training, assertiveness training, and rehabilitation foralcoholism (ROBERTS, 1996).


ROBERTS, A. R. (2002).&nbspHandbook of domestic violenceintervention strategies: policies, programs, and legal remedies.Oxford, Oxford University Press.

ROBERTS, A. R. (1996).&nbspHelping battered women: newperspectives and remedies. New York [u.a.], Oxford Univ. Press.

TALAY-ONGAN, A., &amp AP, E. A. (2005).&nbspChild developmentand teaching young children. Southbank, Vic, Thomson SocialScience.

MARTIN, C. L., &amp FABES, R. A. (2009).&nbspDiscovering childdevelopment. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co.