By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT
Traumatic events related to violence can have very adverse effects on all people, but especially on vulnerable populations like kids and teens. For clinicians working with families, it can also be difficult in navigating and providing support when violence and trauma are taking place. Clinical work must be nuanced and take special care when addressing trauma caused by violence related to instances of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, bullying, and other adverse issues. So what resources are out there to help support clinical work with families experiencing violence and can provide help with trauma?
One such organization is Futures Without Violence. “Futures Without Violence is a health and social justice nonprofit with a simple mission: to heal those among us who are traumatized by violence today – and to create healthy families and communities free of violence tomorrow.” Futures goes beyond just providing resources; they are actively working to transform social norms, as well as provide training and influence government policies related to violence and abuse. Futures addresses violence prevention in arenas such as workplace safety and equity, human trafficking, policy and advocacy, healthcare sectors, global violence prevention, sexual assault support and prevention on college and university campuses, and many other areas to end violence and prevent trauma.
Futures has quite a few initiatives centered around violence prevention strategies and engaging families. One such initiative is their Promising Futures campaign, which focuses on partnering with local communities to “provide free technical assistance and support to the network of domestic violence state coalitions, local community-based programs, and other child-serving systems on enhancing services for families impacted by domestic violence.” This campaign is based on featuring the latest tools and resources available that can be used to improve the situations of parents and children that have been impacted by domestic/family violence. One of these great tools for clinicians is the Program Models & Interventions Database, which allows clinicians to search for varied program models and assessments to use in their work with families. Filters to search for programs include breakdowns by age, ethnic-racial groups, length of the program, delivery approach and format, and the type of experiences addressed. Other great resources from Futures Without Violence include LGBTQ+ resources, responding to the current national youth mental health emergency, and engaging men to end gender-based violence.
Futures Without Violence is one of those organizations at the forefront of building sustainable community leadership and educating people everywhere about the importance of respect and healthy relationships. We must all do our part to improve responses to violence and abuse wherever it occurs.
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