It is critical that the actions of each participant in a coordinated community response be guided by core principles of intervention. These core principles are founded on the premise that the goal of intervention is stopping the violence, and that the focus on intervention is to implement policies, procedures and protocols that will protect the victim from additional harm, both by the abuser and by the responding community itself. The success of the intervention depends on whether the processes that are institutionalized centralize victim safety, improve offender accountability, and work to change the climate in the community from tolerance to intolerance of domestic violence.

1. Intervention practices must reflect a commitment of accountability to the victim, whose life is most affected by our individual and collective actions. Victims must have access to safe housing and the advocacy services necessary to navigate the court system.

2. Whenever possible, the burden of offender accountability from the initial response through placing restrictions on their behavior should rest with the institutional response and not the victim. Focus on changing the system, not the victim.

3. All intervention policy and practice development should consider and recognize the differential impact of intervention depending on the economic, cultural, ethnic, immigration, sexual orientation, ability and other statuses of victims and offenders and should be reviewed by members of the community not represented by the majority culture.

4. Most incidents of violence are part of a larger pattern and history of violence. The intensity of the intervention should be based on the need for protection from further harm and what is needed to create a deterrence to the assailant.

5. Intervention practices should balance the need for standardized institutional responses with individualized responses that recognize potential danger to the victim from confronting the offender, validate victim input and support victim autonomy.

6. The intervention response must be built on cooperative relationships with others that intervene in these cases and should have identified communication linkages and procedures to ensure consistency between the civil and criminal responses.

7. Intervention policies and procedures should be continually monitored by a group outside the judicial system that is guided by input from advocates and battered women.

Adapted from Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Duluth.

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