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Self-scoring assessment helps women identify factors in their relationships that may be associated with domestic violence--valuable tool for organizations that work with victims and those at risk. The Domestic Situation Inventory is a sensitive counseling tool to help women consider their situations and take action to protect themselves and their children from abusers. It can be given in groups or individually, and the test encourages insight and discussion in any group setting. There is formal research available to support the DSI's validity and reliability. How the DSI Works. The entire DSI can be administered in a session that lasts 45 minutes to an hour. Discussion and additional interaction can be used to constructively structure one or more additional sessions. The DSI presents 155 statements in a simple format that takes about 15 minutes to complete. The woman simply puts a check mark by each statement that is true for her. The statements ask about the past and present nature of her relationships, feelings, and situations she has experienced. Check-marked statements are counted, and a total score is computed by the test taker. The DSI then provides information to help test takers understand their scores and to help them clarify whether they are in situations that are--or are likely to become--abusive. The DSI Encourages Women to Get Help When Needed. The DSI encourages women to ask for immediate help if they or their children are in danger. It includes phone and Internet contact information for national domestic abuse and violence hotlines plus guidance on how to find local resources such as women's shelters. It also suggests how to develop an escape plan and how to handleemergency situations. Helps Women Decide for Themselves. The research supporting the DSI indicates that professionals can use it to identify women who are in--or at risk of--abusive relationships. But we think a more important use is to help women consider their own situations and decide for themselves if they are in--or at risk of--abusive relationships. The DSI can help women objectively consider abusive situations and discuss them openly with their counselors or other women, abusive situations that are too often kept "to themselves" because of shame, denial, or fear. And, most importantly, it can help abused women get out of dangerous situations rather than continue to accept them. Low Price; No Special Credentials Required to Administer. We have worked to keep the price of the DSI low to encourage its use in the many women's and domestic violence prevention programs. Materials to help a counselor or instructor use the DSI in group or individual settings is also available, along with the research information on the DSI's formal validity and reliability. Because the DSI is self-scored and interpreted, no special credentials are required for its use. A sensitive counseling assessment tool to help identify women who may be victims of domestic abuse.
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