Attorney’s Handbook

The Attorney’s Handbook provides guidance to attorneys who are representing survivors of domestic violence who are experiencing trauma symptoms and/or mental health challenges. This project was supported by Grant No. 2008-TA-AX-K003 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.

Recommended for attorneys

Representing Domestic Violence Survivors Who Are Experiencing Trauma and Other Mental Health Challenges: A Handbook for Attorneys

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    While there are numerous interventions designed to reduce trauma-related mental health symptoms, most were originally developed to address events that have occurred in the past. Many domestic violence survivors are still under threat of ongoing abuse or stalking, which not only directly impacts their physical and psychological safety but impacts treatment options as well. Little has been known about the extent to which existing evidence-based trauma treatment modalities are applicable to, or require modification for, IPV survivors. In order to address these concerns, NCDVTMH, in collaboration with Cris Sullivan, PhD, and Echo Rivera, MA, at Michigan State University, conducted a formal literature review of nine evidence-based trauma treatments for survivors of domestic violence.

    What are some of the ways it might look when someone is experiencing a trauma response? What are some of the ways that we can connect with a survivor who is experiencing psychological trauma? This brief information sheet is designed to help domestic violence advocates start to think about these questions in their work with survivors.