chapter  9
12 Pages

Leadership practice in domestic and family violence

ByCathy Humphreys

In this chapter the history of domestic violence leadership and its close link to the social movement for stopping violence against women and their children are discussed. The prevention of and response to domestic and family violence (DFV) has undergone seismic changes since the late 1990s. The move toward strengthened responses to DFV within the mainstream of the service system brings with it the risk of poor practice because of a lack of specialist training. Overcoming structural and organisational challenges requires that DFV leaders create effective practice responses. While leadership in the DFV area has similarities with other practice domains, this chapter argues that there are three key elements which distinguish strong DFV leadership. First is the attention to historical, socio-cultural aspects of DFV; second is the need to remain inclusive and attend to emerging issues in a dynamic field; and third is the importance of a public health approach to DFV that encompasses primary, secondary and tertiary level interventions.