September 03, 2020
Many families impacted by domestic violence perpetrators’ behaviors have multiple, complex, and intersecting issues. In the past, we might have referred to these as co-occurring issues. But the language of co-occurrence often doesn’t provide us with a sense of how these issues interact. For example, listing the family’s issues is not as powerful as explaining how the domestic violence perpetrator interfered with his partner’s recovery, for example. Listing that the family has experienced both domestic violence and mental health issues is not as useful as describing how the perpetrator’s violence has produced anxiety and aggression in the adult survivor. Using an intersectional framework, rather than a co-occurrence framework, we increase perpetrator accountability and improve our ability to assess the family and to partner with adult survivors. This course provides guidance in how to understand the connections, or intersections, and make them work for us in our practice.