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  The following are Key Assumptions of the Domestic Violence Community.

1. Safety
  The primary purpose of domestic violence programs for both victims and perpetrators is to increase the safety of victims (including child victims), not personal growth or redemption of pathology. Disorders are best treated, at least initially, as outcomes rather than cause of domestic violence, and treated in a a parallel fashion.

2. Responsibility & Choice
  The perpetrator is fully responsible for the violence, and is not provoked, triggered, or stressed into violence. Violence is always a choice. The victim, regardless of her behavior, is not responsible for the violence.

3. Violence is a Vehicle
  Domestic violence is not an expression of an inner condition (e.g. anger, depression, stress, intoxication, attachment, object consistency) nor is it a response to an external condition (provocation, homeostasis, triggers, co-dependency, or bitchiness) but is a vehicle chosen to establish control over a person, persons, or a situation.

4. Why She Stays
  Battered women do not choose to remain with abusers, but rather choose when it is safe to take action or leave, which for many battered women is never.

5. Families in Society
  In a variety of ways, our society and our culture support abuse of women, so the problem is never viewed entirely at the personal level. Violence in the family is the imprint of a violent society; violence in society is family violence at large.

6. Disinhibition & Abstinence
  Alcohol and drugs are not the cause of domestic violence. Alcohol does not disinhibit domestic violence. Abstinence and sobriety are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for non-violence.

7. Co-dependency
  Co-dependency does not describe the behavior of battered women (or batterers) and should not be used in domestic violence cases. At times, co-dependency, when applied to domestic violence, becomes a victim-blaming diseasification of socially sanctioned roles of women.

source: "Toward Better Practices" Conference: Domestic Violence - Substance Abuse. May 1998.

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