Principle III of the Guiding Principles of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) states that visitation centers should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the nature, dynamics, and impact of domestic violence and incorporate that understanding into their services.

The Supervised Visitation Program Philosophy and Perspective

Domestic violence involves a complex pattern of behaviors that take many forms (physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial) and are used as a means of controlling the other partner.[1] These behaviors are neither impulsive nor a result of poor anger management, but rather are purposeful and instrumental to maintain compliance of the victim.[2] When adult victims leave their batterers, the likelihood increases significantly that the batterers will escalate their violence, kidnap or threaten to kidnap the children, stalk, attempt to undermine the relationship between child(ren) and adult victims, attempt to use the court system and service providers as tools of the abuse, and attempt to involve the children in the abuse. A heightened understanding of the nature, dynamics, and impact of domestic violence can help visitation center staff have a more comprehensive view of battering behaviors and how batterers often attempt to control the situation, the adult victim, and the children.


To read about behaviors associated with a specific group, please click the link corresponding to that group.

Understanding Domestic Violence Specific Resources

    • Differentiation Among Types of Intimate Partner Violence by Joan B. Kelly and Michael P. Johnson in Vol. 46, Issue 3 of the Family Court Review (2008). This article discusses the value of differentiation among types of intimate partner violence, describes the underlying reasons for the confusion and controversy regarding gender and violence, and focuses on research that supports differentiation. Read this article


    • Little Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence Against Mothers Shapes Children as They Grow by Alison Cunningham and Linda Baker, Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (2007). This publication examines how children experience violence against their mothers and how those experiences may shape them as they grow, from infancy to adolescence. Read this publication


    • Power and Control Wheel by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs. The Power and Control Wheel was developed from the experience of battered women in Duluth who had been abused by their male partners. It does not attempt to give a broad understanding of all violence in the home or community, but instead offers a more precise explanation of the tactics men use to batter women. Read the Power and Control Wheel


    • Shout. The Story of Domestic Violenceby Sam Nuttmann and Mark Davis, Session 7 Media (2010). This documentary film follows the story of Sam Nuttmann, whose sister was murdered as a result of domestic violence, as he discusses the realities of domestic violence through personal interviews with survivors, politicians, domestic violence advocates, family members, legal professionals, journalists, and others affected by the issue. View the film


    • Substance Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence by Larry Bennett and Patricia Bland, National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (2008). This paper discusses the co-occurrence of substance abuse and intimate partner violence, highlights the special role of men’s drunkenness in intimate partner violence, examines substance abuse by victims of intimate partner violence, and presents issues related to coordination and integration of substance abuse and intimate partner violence services. Read this paper


    • The Parenting of Men Who Batter by Lundy Bancroft in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association (Summer 2002). This article discusses the parenting characteristics commonly observed in batterers and the implications for children’s emotional and physical well-being, their relationships with their mothers and siblings, and the development of their belief systems. Read this article


    • Violence Against Women Online Resources Research Brief: The Facts About Domestic Violence, Violence Against Women Online Resources (2009). This brief provides the definition of domestic violence; domestic violence statistics; an overview of domestic violence and specific populations and the adverse effects of domestic violence, legal protections, and domestic violence; and the role of the Office on Violence Against Women. Read this brief


    • Violence Against Women with Mental Illness by the Council of State Governments Justice Center (2007). This report addresses women with mental illness’ vulnerability to violent crime; the challenges confronting victim advocates, mental health service providers, and justice officials attempting to serve women with mental illness who have been victims of crime; the programs that have attempted to serve effectively this population; and the resources that are available to the field. Read this report

[1] See, e.g., Clare Dalton, Leslie Drozd & Hon. Frances Wong, NCJFCJ, Navigating Custody & Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide 8 (2004, revised 2006) (citing Anne L. Ganley, Understanding Domestic Violence: Preparatory Reading for Trainers in Anne L. Ganley & Susan Schechter, Domestic Violence: A National Curriculum For Child Protective Services 1-32 (Janet Carter, et al. Eds., 1996)).

[2] Dalton, Drozd & Wong, id.