Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP)
The DVIP is an early intervention program designed to coordinate the efforts of police, advocates, court personnel and batterer's intervention programs. Specially trained advocates from local battered women's programs (NELCWIT & Safe Passage) are immediately available following a domestic violence incident. Police departments, in Franklin and Hampshire County and the Town of Athol, contact an on-call advocate who in turn contacts the victim. Advocates offer victims immediate support, safety information and referrals for counseling, shelter and/or legal advocacy. Representatives from the local batterer's intervention program (Moving Forward) are also available to meet with offenders in court at the time of arraignment. Offenders receive information about their responsibilities under the law and available batterer’s intervention groups.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses / former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.
The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor. Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological. Psychological violence means intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual.
Domestic violence destroys the home. No one deserves to be abused. The responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim's fault!
Symptoms of Abuse - Misuse of Power And Control
Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person. Women who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.
Listed below are some of the warning signs of domestic abuse. Look to see if there are multiple warning signs that are occurring in your life.
USING PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE
Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private and depriving her of food or sleep.
USING EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Insulting her in public or in private
Putting down her friends and family
Making her feel bad about herself
Calling her names
Making her think she's crazy
Playing mind games
Making her feel guilty
Using Male Privilege; acting like "Master of the Castle"
Treating her like a servant
Making all the big decisions
Being the one to define men's and women's roles.
USING ECONOMIC ABUSE
Preventing her from getting or keeping a job
Making her ask for money
Giving her an allowance
Taking her money
Not letting her know about or have access to family income
Not allowing her a voice in important financial decisions
Demanding exclusive control over household finances.
USING COERCION AND THREATS
Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
Threatening to leave her, or to commit suicide
Threatening to report her to welfare
Making her drop charges
Making her do illegal things.
Making her afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
Throwing or smashing things, destroying property
Making her feel guilty about the children
Using the children to relay messages
Using visitation to harass her
Threatening to take the children away.
Controlling what she does, who she sees, what she reads, & where she goes
Limiting her outside involvement
Refusing to let her learn to drive, go to school, or get a job
Not allowing her to freely use the car or the telephone.
USING JEALOUSY AND BLAME TO JUSTIFY ACTIONS
Minimizing, Denying, Blaming
Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
Checking up on where she's been or who she's talked to
Accusing her of infidelity
Saying the abuse didn't happen
Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
Saying she caused it.
Why Get Help?
The danger is real.
If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous.
If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.
Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.
Learn the Warning Signs
Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time.
The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. You Are Not Alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation.
Domestic Violence Resources
The following programs provide services to victims of domestic violence, including shelter, counseling, support groups, and legal assistance. All of the services are free and confidential, unless noted otherwise.
Below is a list of services within the Western Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley Community, focusing on the Hampshire County area. Several of the resources below, including Safe Passage, Center for Women and Communities and NELCWIT, offer services and support for emotionally unhealthy or abusive relationships whether or not they are physically abusive.
SAFE PASSAGE: Hampshire County’s Domestic Violence Agency. Safe Passages offer support, shelter, counseling, and resources for survivors, children, and families affected by domestic violence. Located in Northampton.
24-hour Crisis Hotline: (413) 586-5066 Office: (413) 586-1125
Center for Women and Communities: (CWC): Hampshire County’s Rape Crisis Center. (CWC): Hampshire County’s Rape Crisis Center. Center for Women and Communities Rape Crisis Program also offers support and counseling for those affected by abusive relationships and domestic violence. We work closely with Safe Passage. Located in Amherst.
24-hour Crisis/support line: (413) 545-0800
New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (N.E.L.C.W.I.T) Provides domestic violence and rape crisis services for Franklin County, including counseling, advocacy and referrals. Located in Greenfield. 24-hour Crisis Hotline: (413) 772-0806.
NELCWIT also offers a Native American Sexual Violence Prevention and Survivors Service. Call 413-772-0871 for more information.
Womanshelter/Companeras: Domestic violence crisis/support line and bilingual services in English/Spanish. Located in Holyoke and serves the greater Holyoke area. Amherst residents are welcome to call. 24-hour crisis/support line: 1-877-536-1628
Safelink: a Massachusetts Statewide Hotline multilingual, 24 hour service that has info on what shelters currently have space available. 1-877-785-2020
National Domestic Violence Hotline 24-hour hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
SAFEPLAN: SAFEPLAN advocates are trained to offer court-based advocacy, including helping victims of domestic violence plan for their safety and obtain 209A restraining orders (also called protective orders) through the courts. You can find a SAFEPLAN advocate at the Belchertown or Northampton Court House during court hours.
Victim/Witness Assistance: As part of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office, Victim/Witness Assistance provides information and advocacy for victims of crime involved in criminal court proceedings, including information on victim compensation and victim rights. NOTE: Services are free but not confidential - advocates are employees of the district attorney's office.
Main Office - Northampton: 413-586-5780.
Satellite Office - Eastern Hampshire District Court, Belchertown: 413-323-5275
Chapter 260 of the Acts of 2014, the Act Relative to Domestic Violence, mandates that certain informational pamphlets be provided to both plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence/abuse matters.
The plaintiff brochures are entitled "Resources for Safety and Support" and include statewide and regional listings for domestic violence programs, sexual assault programs, child witness to violence programs, 24-hour Hotlines, and the local District Attorney's offices.
The defendant brochures are entitled "Alternatives to Abuse" and include statewide and regional listings for career centers, substance abuse counseling, intimate partner abuse education programs, and Department of Transitional Assistance offices.
· Defendant Brochure and Regional Inserts:
Brochures are also available with additional information and phone numbers to call for help. Just click on the following links:
- Defendant's Brochure: Understanding Abuse Prevention Orders & Getting Help
- No Abuse Brochure
- Harrassment Prevention Orders
- Domestic Violence Intervention Project
- First Responders DV Risk Assessment
- DV Risk Assessment Sheet
- Court Safety
- Information for Immigrants (English)
- Reporting Sexual Assault to Law Enforcement: A Guide for Victims/Survivors
- Pre-Trial Release
- Domestic Violence High Risk Team
Information for Immigrants in other languages:
- Information for Immigrants (Arabic)
- Information for Immigrants (Cape Verdean)
- Information for Immigrants (Chinese simplified)
- Information for Immigrants (French)
- Information for Immigrants (Khmer)
- Information for Immigrants (Moldovan)
- Information for Immigrants (Russian)
- Information for Immigrants (Spanish)