Creating Opportunities for Safety and Change in Supervised Visitation Program: A Policy Framework for Engaging Men Who Use Violence

Inspire Action for Social Change, in partnership with Futures Without Violence, and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

Supervised visitation programs are uniquely positioned to engage with men and fathers to enhance safety for victims of domestic violence and their children. This publication outlines a framework designed to help supervised visitation providers and their community partners create a more institutionalized and seamless approach to engaging with men who use violence. In addition to the framework this resource includes some helpful worksheets to support the application of the framework in your centers and in the community.

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Responding to Stalking: A Guide for Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Programs

The Stalking Resource Center, in partnership with Inspire Action for Social Change

Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange programs are critical to enhancing safety for children and adult victims by increasing opportunities for supervised visitation and safe exchange, by and between custodial and non-custodial parents, in cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Stalking poses a particular challenge for victims, as it can occur before, during, and after a visit or exchange. It is essential that supervised visitation and safe exchange program staff are able to effectively recognize and respond to stalking. This guide includes an overview of the dynamics of stalking, the intersection of stalking and domestic violence, how to assess for stalking, and considerations for policy and procedure.

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Engage to Protect: Foundations for Supervised Visitation and Exchange – Discussion Papers

Engage to Protect is a five-part training series developed by Praxis International.

Recognizing and Understanding Battering
Ellen Pence and Jane Sadusky

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Engaging with Battered Women in Supervised Visitation            
Maren Hansen-Kramer, Julie Tilley, Beth McNamara, and Jane Sadusky

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Engaging with Men Who Batter in Supervised Visitation       
Maren Hansen-Kramer, Julie Tilley, Beth McNamara, and Jane Sadusky

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Informing the Practice of Supervised Visitation              
Melanie Shepard, Jane Sadusky, and Beth McNamara

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Crafting Policies that Account for Battering    
Ellen Pence and Jane Sadusky

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On Safety's Side - Protecting Those Vulnerable to Violence

On Safety's Side - Protecting Those Vulnerable to Violence: Challenges to Notions of Neutrality in Supervised Visitation Centers 
Martha McMahon and Ellen Pence

Visitation centers have argued that “putting kids first” requires neutrality in the “conflict” between the parents. But this position frequently puts adult victims of violence in unnecessary competition with their children for protection. The outcome can be harmful and contrary to the visitation centers’ intentions in adopting a stance of neutrality. This paper examines the practice of neutrality in relation to the protection of children and adult victims of ongoing abuse.

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Safe Passage: Supervised Safe Exchange for Battered Women and Their Children

Safe Passage: Supervised Safe Exchange for Battered Women and Their Children
Jane Sadusky
Contributions by Beth McNamara, Jennifer Rose, and Melissa Scaia

Safe exchange has often been overshadowed by attention to supervised visitation, yet remains one of the most challenging aspects of a visitation program’s work. This paper sums up key issues in safe exchange and presents strategies to address them.

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New Perspectives on Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange: Orientation

New Perspectives on Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange: Orientation                                      Jane Sadusky
Contributions by Beth McNamara, Jennifer Rose, Maren Hansen-Kramer, Valli Kalei Kanuha, Tammie Larsen, Ellen Pence, and Julie Tilley

A visitation program is one of the few community agencies to interact with each member of a family. It is likely to be the only agency that has ongoing weekly or other regular contact with everyone and as such it has much potential to protect children and adult victims of battering and to help parents who batter begin to repair the harm they have caused. The first call or appointment and the kind of welcome that each person receives influence everything that happens from that point forward. This paper provides an overview of a shift in the practice from agency-centered intake to person-centered orientation as a framework for welcoming mothers, fathers, and children to the experience of supervised visitation.

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Building Safety, Repairing Harm

Building Safety, Repairing Harm – Lessons and Discoveries from the Office on Violence Against Women’s Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program – Demonstration Initiative
Jane Sadusky
Contributions by Beth McNamara, Ellen Pence, Maren Hansen-Kramer, Tracee Parker, Leslie Landis, Mary Lovik, and Shelia Hankins

As part of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program, the Office on Violence Against Women developed and implemented a multi-year Demonstration Initiative to examine promising practices and take a sustained look at supervised visitation and safe exchange in the context of battering and other forms of domestic violence. It selected four demonstration sites to carry out this work: Santa Clara County, California; the City of Chicago, Illinois; the City of Kent, Washington; and the State of Michigan. This report presents the initiative’s collective and individual examination of visitation center practices, community partnerships, cultural accessibility, security, and sustainability.

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Demonstration Initiative Site Profiles and Safety and Accountability Audit Reports

As a participant in the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Demonstration Initiative, each demonstration site was required to conduct community-based assessments, utilizing the methodologies of the Praxis Safety and Accountability Audit. Through their assessments, the demonstration sites explored four essential questions related to the design and delivery of visitation and exchange services.

State of Michigan: What is the role of a supervised visitation center?
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South Bay Area, CA: How can the work of a visitation center produce safety for everyone ?
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City of Chicago, IL: How does a visitation center account for peoples’ unique cultures and identities?
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City of Kent, WA: How does a victim of battering who might benefit from supervised visitation services identify and access them?
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Guiding Principles for the Safe Havens

Guiding Principles for the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program, Office on Violence Against Women
Prepared by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The Guiding Principles were designed to guide the development and administration of Supervised Visitation Program centers in their efforts to centralize safety for adult and child victims of domestic violence. The Guiding Principles look beyond the visitation setting to address how communities funded under the Supervised Visitation Program should address domestic violence in the larger community.

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Fathering After Violence: Working with Abusive Fathers in Supervised Visitation

Fathering After Violence: Working with Abusive Fathers in Supervised Visitation
Juan Carlos Arean and Fernando Mederos
In consultation with Jennifer Rose, Beth McNamara, Laura Connelly, Melissa Scaia, and Tracee Parker

This guide is intended to assist the grantees of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program or SVP) that want to enhance the safety and well-being of women and children by working more deliberately with abusive fathers who use the centers to visit their children. Although fathers are not always the visiting parents and, in fact, in some centers mothers make up almost half of the visiting caseload, this document was designed to target in particular visiting fathers who have been violent with their intimate partners.

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