- Understands that many women seeking mental health treatment often have a history of sexual assault or domestic violence?
- Is empathic to these issues?
- Ask sensitive but articulate questions about IPSV when confronted with domestic violence?
- Does not stigmatise abused women with mental health issues as "weak" or other?
- Understands that IPSV is as serious and traumatic as other forms of sexual and domestic assault and does not minimise it in any way?
- Does not subscribe to outmoded and sexist psychiatric judgments i.e. "Frigid and withholding women are secretly encouraging their partners to rape them"?
- Does not engage in maternal blame toward mothers in violent situations i.e. "have you thought about what this is doing to your kids?"; rather, you can appropriately express concern for the impact of abuse on children, understanding that she loves her children and shares that concern, and that it most often isn't as simple as just taking the kids and getting out?
- Does not further abuse women seeking help with controlling or punitive sanctions?
- Does not believe women often lie about sexual assault to attention-seek or other?
- Does not subscribe to rape or domestic violence myths - i.e. "Some women ask for it?"
- Avoids blaming terminology such as "masochism"?
- Understands that IPSV happens in relationships not always characterized by other forms of abuse?
- Understands that the sexual assault may be important to a survivor for addressing in itself even if there has been other violence?
- Does not condescend to or negatively label women who may be suffering mental-health affects of IPSV and/or other violence?
- Is not disdainful of sexual and domestic violence counselling; recognises that these services can be important adjuncts to mental health care?
- Refers when needed to domestic violence or sexual assault services?
- Empowers survivors by giving compassionate treatment for mental health issues and respecting their right to control their own lives?
- Is completely confidential (excepting if a client is a danger to herself or others, or minors are being harmed)?
Thank you for reading these considerations. If you are sure that your service is IPSV Survivor-Friendly, please click here to go to the Mental Health and Related Services database and enter your information.