On April 29, the Center for Resolutions, in Media, PA hosted Blake Cohen, Medical Advocate, with the Delaware County Domestic Abuse Project (DAP)  for a workshop on Recognizing Domestic Abuse.  DAP is a resource for adult victims of domestic abuse in Delaware County.  Ms. Cohen spoke to a group of mediators about domestic abuse and the resources available for victims and abusers.

Ms. Cohen educated the mediators about the root causes of domestic abuse, power and control.  The need for power and control, combined with behaviors such as threats, violence, and intimidation, which occur over a prolonged period, can lead to domestic abuse.   Non abusive relationships may exhibit elements of power and control, without these additional negative behaviors.  DAP, handles adult cases involving romantic or sexual partners, ex-partners and family members.  She acknowledged that abuse can exist in any type of relationship and there are other resources, such as CYS and COSA, available for people in other situations.  The project maintains a 24 hour hotline (610-565-4590) for victims and anyone looking for information to help a victim.  DAP maintains 12 beds for emergency use up to 30 days.  This safe haven is available to female victims only, but Cohen stressed that victims of domestic abuse are found in both genders and all social, cultural and economic circles.

At the end of the evening, the mediators engaged in a robust discussion.  While Center for Resolutions policies strictly prohibit mediating cases involving domestic abuse there were still some related topics to discuss.  Specifically, screening for domestic abuse during the intake process, and the mediator’s role when domestic abuse is either recognized or suspected.  Everyone present agreed that this is a very heady topic and will be engaging in further discussion in the months to come.