September 27, 2010

Domestic violence risk training in Oregon

On October 15, Northwest Forensic Institute is presenting the latest in its series of high-quality forensic continuing education programs. It features Tonia Nicholls, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia and co-author of several violence risk assessment and prevention guides. Dr. Nicholls has provided dozens of violence risk trainings around the world. This one is titled, "An introduction to domestic violence risk assessment: Evidence to inform your practice."

Despite our preoccupation with 'stranger danger' (e.g., child abductions, stranger-rapes) it is a well-established fact that we are more likely to be assaulted or killed by a family member than by anyone else. Violence in families is so common as to be considered ubiquitous. Canadian and American data reveal similar rates of violence against women: around 1 in 5 women have ever experienced intimate partner violence and 2 to 4 percent of women suffered severe violence in the past year. The lifetime incidence rate for any form of domestic violence is approximately 19 percent. The lifetime incidence for severe or injurious domestic violence is about 8 percent.
Accurate risk assessments with perpetrators of intimate partner abuse are important for a variety of diverse reasons. A proper assessment should lead to informed safety planning for the victim(s) and case management for the perpetrator. Good risk evaluations can help to ensure the appropriate division of scarce resources to those individuals and families in greatest need and prevent the disruption of intact families who might actually suffer unnecessarily as a result of intrusive interventions. The information gleaned from a good evaluation can also be essential for assisting victims and their advocates in relevant civil (e.g., divorce or custody disputes) and criminal proceedings.
The training is co-sponsored by the Portland State University and will earn mental health professionals 6 hours of CE credits; accreditation for 6 hours of CLE for attorneys is pending. The fee is $175 for professionals and $75 for students. For more information and to register, visit the Institute's WEBSITE or call (503) 413-0685.

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