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Considerations and Database for Sexual Assault Services

Your Service:

  • Understands that IPSV is not "either" domestic violence "or" sexual assault, but is "both-and"?
  • Understands that IPSV is one of the most common forms of sexual assault, and entails the highest levels of physical injury and repeated rape?
  • Understands that IPSV is as serious and traumatic as other forms of sexual assault and does not minimise it in any way?
  • Understands that IPSV happens in relationships not always characterized by other forms of abuse?
  • Understands that IPSV may carry some different and quite complex psychological and physical issues in comparison to other types of sexual violence?
  • Is conversant with what the different issues of IPSV may be?
  • Understands that IPSV survivors raped by violent men often fear in the same way as other survivors that they will be killed?
  • Understands that perpetrators of partner rape and battery are more potentially lethal than perpetrators of battery alone, and can refer and support appropriately to get life-threatening issues addressed?
  • Has a multicultural understanding of IPSV?
  • Understands that the sexual assault may be important to a survivor for addressing in itself even if there has been other violence?
  • Understands that filing partner rape under the heading of domestic violence can leave the impact of rape untreated and be seriously detrimental to a survivor?
  • Understands that survivors of IPSV can have emotional bonds to perpetrators not usually found in other types of sexual assault?
  • Where a client needs other assistance - such as shelter - gives supported referrals and follow-up rather than just telling her to "Call a DV service?"
  • Believes that even if a survivor is remaining with a perpetrator, she still has the right to access help from sexual assault services?
  • Respects that the survivor's relationship may have been mutidimensional and understands that she may want to talk about the good parts of her partner, but can still affirm to her sexual assault is never okay?
  • Understands that a woman disclosing IPSV by a partner she loves may feel as if she's betraying him, and can reframe this in a context of her right to healing and safety?
  • Recognises the importance of clearly naming IPSV as sexual assault, yet understands this can be distressing and has support strategies in place?
  • Can empower a survivor of IPSV to see and value her strengths?
  • Avoids 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?
  • Is completely confidential (excepting if a client is a danger to herself or others, or minors are being harmed)?
  • Seeks advice from a domestic violence service before notifying Child Welfare services about minors and domestic violence?
  • Thank you for reading these considerations. If you are sure that your service is IPSV Survivor-Friendly, please click here to go to the Sexual Assault Services database and enter your information.

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