Domestic Violence Advocacy

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HSV 160

       Course Name: Domestic Violence Advocacy

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines the skills necessary to provide crisis intervention in various settings to adult and child survivors of domestic violence, and offers a background of information on domestic violence and advocacy for victims/survivors.  Upon completion, students will be eligible to intern at an approved domestic violence victim advocacy agency.  The student who completes both the coursework and the internship will be eligible to take the State examination and upon successful completion, receive credentialing as an Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course students will:

  1. Define domestic violence, identify societal and institutional issues, distinguish between historical and feminist perspectives, and distinguish between the myths and realities of domestic violence.
  2. Identify the cycles of violence, the influence of power and control, and distinguish between types of abuse, the effects of domestic violence on victims and recognize the abusers.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of domestic violence legal issues by identifying, citing, complying with, and advocating the components of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, Federal law, Abused & Neglected Child Reporting Act and the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act.
  4. Identify and facilitate the components of crisis assessment, safety planning in working with victims.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of unique challenges in serving specific victims.  Identify the differences, common and unique needs of substance abuse and domestic violence population such as: children, teens, older battered women, lesbian, bisexual, gay & transgender clients, people with disabilities, faith, immigration, and diversity issues, HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.
  6. Identify, distinguish and adhere to the certification code of ethics and be able to identify issues of violence in workers’ health and burnout.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. FOUNDATIONS-This section covers the history and the basic fundamentals of domestic violence. (Timeframe: 2 hours minimal)
    • Definition of Domestic Violence
    • Historical and Feminist Perspectives
    • Societal and Institutional Issues
    • Myths and Realities
  2. DYNAMICS - This section contains statistics and the basic concepts of domestic violence.  (Timeframe: 5 hours minimal)
    • Statistics of Domestic Violence
    • Cycle of Violence
    • Power and Control Wheel/Types of Abuse
    • Barriers or Challenges to Leaving an Abuser
    • Identifying Victims/Survivors
  3. DIRECT SERVICES ISSUES – This section deals with teaching the intervention skills needed to work with victims/survivors.  (Timeframe: 5 hours minimal)
    • Counseling Domestic Violence Victims/Survivors
    • Defining Advocacy
    • Basic Crisis Intervention Skills
    • Documentation – Files – Victim’s/Survivor’s Rights
  4. SAFETY AND ASSESSMENT – The goal of this section is to teach the skills needed to develop and implement safety plans, how to identify tools and skills to assist in assessing the possible danger levels that the victim/survivor may be facing and how to assesses/intervene in potential suicidal crisis situations. (Timeframe: 2.5 hours
    • Safety Planning
    • Lethality Assessment
    • Suicide Assessment {Timeframe: .5 hour minimal (as part of the total minimal requirement for this section)}
  5. ABUSERS - This goal of this section is to give a basic review of an abuser profile and batterer intervention services. It is not meant to teach abuser intervention skills. (Timeframe: 1 hour minimal)
    • Overview of Abusers
    • Discuss common abuser’s traits.
    • Discuss reasons that abusers abuse.
    • Overview of Abuser Program Services
    • Short explanation of either agency’s abuser treatment program or other local program approved by victim services program or DHS Protocol for Batterer’s Intervention Program.
  6. CHILDREN’S ISSUES – The goal of this section is to teach the negative effects domestic violence has on children and the ways that advocates/counselors and non-abusing parent can intervene to lessen those effects. (Timeframe: 3 hours minimal)
    • Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
    • Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act
    • DCFS Issues
    • Safety Planning for Children
    • Working with Children
  7. TEEN DATING VIOLENCE – The goal of this section is to focus on how to intervene and work with teens in either a dating violence situation or a domestic violence situation. (Timeframe: 1 hour minimal)
    • Dynamics
    • Legal Issues for Teens
    • Safety Planning for Teen-Dating Violence
  8. CULTURAL COMPETENCY –The goal of this section is to address issues of culture, ethnicity, race and religion from a culturally competent perspective. {Timeframe: 3 hours minimal (some of these hours are assigned to specific topics in this section)}
    • Anti-Racism: Timeframe: 2 hours or more (as part of the total minimal requirement for this section)
    • Religion and Domestic Violence
  9. WORKING WITH POPULATIONS WITH COMPLEX/UNIQUE ISSUES - This section focuses on the unique needs of specialized populations that are affected by domestic violence. {Timeframe: 6 hours minimal (some of these hours are assigned to specific topics in this section)}
    • Older Battered Women
    • Elder Abuse and Neglect Act
    • Rural Women
    • Immigrant Battered Women
    • People with Unique Challenges
    • Mental Health Issues\
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues and Homophobia
    • Timeframe: 1.5 hours minimal (as part of the total minimal requirement for this section)
    • Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence
    • Timeframe: 1 hour minimal (as part of the total minimal requirement for this section)
    • Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV and AIDS
    • Prostitution/Trafficking
  10. IDVA/LEGAL ISSUES – This section focuses on the legal issues related to domestic violence. (Timeframe: 4 hours or more)
    • Discuss IDVA Act
    • Criminal or Civil Court/Orders Of Protection
    • Criminal Offenses: Assault, Domestic Battery, Violation of Order of Protection, Stalking
    • Conditions of Bond
    • Full Faith and Credit
    • VAWA - Immigration Issues
    • Prohibitions Against Firearm Possession
    • Parentage
    • Visitation Issues
    • Child Abduction
    • Concerns about Leaving the State
  11. MISCELLANEOUS - This section focuses on two issues that need to be taught to domestic violence workers but did not fit into other sections. (Timeframe: .5 hours minimal)
    • Certification Code Of Ethics
    • Referrals To and Working with Other Agencies/Systems
    • Self Care

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Group Activities

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the students’ ability to read and understand college-level text material.

Writing:  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative Text:
Kanel, Kristi. A Guide to Crisis Intervention  (1999).
Publisher:  Brooks-Cole Publishing Company, 511 Forest Lodge Road, Pacific Grove, CA  93950

Lissette, Andrea, and Richard Kraus. Free Yourself from an Abusive Relationship (2000).
Publisher: Hunter House Inc., Publishers, P.O. Box 2914, Alameda, CA  94501-0914

Wilson, K.J. When Violence Begins at Home (1997).
Publisher:  Hunter House Inc., Publishers, P.O. Box 2914, Alameda, CA  94501-0914

Additional Study Materials (available through the links provided below)
Illinois Domestic Violence Act and other Significant Laws Affecting Domestic Violence (2005).
Publisher:   Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

A Manual for Mandated Reporters (2015).
Publisher: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

Reporting Elder Abuse: What Professionals Need to Know (2003).
Publisher: Illinois Department on Aging

Russell, Jan., JD  “Orders of Protection/Enforcement of Orders of Protection.”

Supplemental References

ICDVP Inc. through the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence will mail a printed copy of chapter three of the resource listed below after your application to take the examination has been approved.  (This resource can also be found within many university libraries.)

Davies, Jill, Eleanor Lyon & Diane Monti-Catania.  “Understanding battered women’s perspectives,” in Safety Planning with Battered Women. (1998).  Sage Series on Violence Against Women
Publisher: Sage Publications.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Individual instructors will determine their own grading and evaluation procedures.

Representative methods include:
Analytical Paper

Grading of this assignment will be based on the following criteria: organization of ideas, clarity of expression, ability to construct a coherent and persuasive argument in support of your ideas, solid command of relevant theory and research, and ability to apply theory and research by way of example or experience. Grading is not based on student’s personal opinion or belief, but their ability to articulate their understanding of the concepts presented in the course. This paper must be typed; double spaced with font of 12, and must adhere to correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory due to the importance of material covered in class. Should a student have an emergency situation or illness come up over the course of the semester, that individual needs to contact the instructor to discuss the matter or making up the material.

Make-up exams: For students who miss class due to an excused absence, please contact the instructor to make-up your quizzes/exam. Please note that this is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor about making up the quiz/exam.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.