The D.O.V.E.S. team includes (l to r): John Luna-Sparks, LCSW, Shelley Hamilton, LCSW, Carmen Zelaya, LCSW, Susan Murray, LCSW, Victoria Anderson, LCSW, and Carolyn Blodgett, LCSW.
D.O.V.E.S. Project: The Domestic Violence Education and Screening Project
The D.O.V.E.S. Project is a domestic violence program housed in the Center for Child Protection at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland that offers education, screening, counseling and advocacy services to battered caregivers and to children exposed to domestic violence.
The D.O.V.E.S. Project offers training and consultation to pediatric healthcare providers on the impact of domestic violence on children.
The program also provides:
• Routine screening for domestic violence in the pediatric setting
• Effective clinical interventions in domestic violence cases
Research shows that when healthcare providers ask about domestic violence, more victims disclose abuse and seek help. A healthcare provider can ease the way for a battered caregiver to receive services by offering encouragement and support.
Crisis Intervention/Counseling Services
Whether a victim is an employee of Children’s Hospital Oakland or a caregiver of one of our patients, the D.O.V.E.S. Project provides a listening ear and practical, realistic, and therapeutic support. We provide therapy for child witnesses, as well as their battered caregivers; and referrals and advocacy for financial and legal concerns.
The D.O.V.E.S. Project Mission Statement
The mission of the D.O.V.E.S. Project is to create an effective multicultural environment in the pediatric setting for caregivers to disclose domestic violence, mobilize for safety, and heal from the effects of trauma in their and their childrens’ lives.
What is the impact of domestic violence on children?
• Children are witnesses. Whether or not they actually see the blows, they are traumatized by knowing that their caregiver is being abused.
• Children are caught in the crossfire. Children get hit accidentally by thrown objects or a blow meant for someone else. Some children are injured trying to intervene to stop the violence.
• Children are direct victims of abuse. This is often the point at which adult victims leave the abuser. We need to help adult victims take positive action sooner, to prevent the worst from happening.
“It takes courage. We can help.” -The D.O.V.E.S. Project