Guiding Principles
   • Client safety is a priority
   • Respect victim’s choices
   • Don’t blame, threaten, or judge victim
   • Believe the victim
   • Provide choices, not interventions


Convey 3 Things
    1. It’s not their fault
    2. They are not alone - this happens to
        many people
    3. There is help available

Responding to Disclosures of Abuse
   • Empathetic Understanding
   • Provide choices and referrals
   • Safety planning if necessary

Ask Indirect Questions,
then Direct Questions if Necessary




Physical Indicators
  • patches of hair missing
  • malnourished, dehydrated
  • bleeding below the scalp
  • signs of confinement, rope marks
  • untreated medical condition
  • torn, stained, bloody clothing
  • cuts, pinch marks, skin tears,
     lacerations, puncture wounds, burns
  • unexplained bruises or welts
  • bruises or welts in various stages of
  • injuries that don’t match the explanation
  • injuries reflecting outline of objects used
     to make them – belt buckles, rings,
     hands, etc.
  • bruises on underside of arm
  • spiral fractures or twisting injuries
  • swollen eyes or ankles
  • broken eyeglasses
Behavioral Indicators
  • accidental injuries
  • appears isolated
  • seems afraid, confused
  • substance abuse
  • depression
  • hesitant to talk freely

Psychological Indicators
  • flinches or draws away when approached
  • change in appetite
  • fearful when approached by caregiver
  • talks about suicide
  • anxiety
  • excessively passive
  • doubts their sanity
  • reluctant to discuss home life
  • low self-esteem
  • resigned, tearful
  • afraid of being alone
Social Indicators
  • isolated with no family or friends who
     drop by
  • not given the opportunity to speak for
  • home is physically isolated from the
  • doesn’t know neighbors
  • relatives all live far away
  • doesn’t want you to leave