Knowledge and Perspectives of Domestic Violence Service Providers about Survivors with Mental Health Disability

  • Cecilia MengoEmail author
  • Brieanne Beaujolais
  • Emily Kulow
  • Rachel Ramirez
  • Alexandra Brown
  • Julianna Nemeth
Original Article


Domestic violence (DV) impacts women’s mental health. DV survivors need access to services that can effectively assure safety and healing. DV service providers are positioned to provide accommodations for survivors who are experiencing mental health disability in order for survivors to fully engage with and benefit from DV-related services. Using qualitative methods, 11 focus groups were conducted with staff (n = 45) and administrators (n = 17) from five DV advocacy agencies and shelters in a Midwest state of the US to assess service providers’ needs related to working with survivors with mental health disability. Participants shared their personal experiences and challenges of working with survivors who have mental health disability. Findings point to the need to further build capacity within agencies to respond to the complex mental health needs of survivors. These findings also indicate the need for DV agencies to effectively implement integrated trauma informed care models that promote healing when working with DV survivors who have mental health disability.


Domestic violence Mental health Service providers Substance use Suicide Trauma-informed care 



This study was funded by NIJ grant OVC 2016-XV-GX-K012.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia Mengo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brieanne Beaujolais
    • 1
  • Emily Kulow
    • 2
  • Rachel Ramirez
    • 2
  • Alexandra Brown
    • 2
  • Julianna Nemeth
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Social WorkThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Ohio Domestic Violence NetworkColumbusUSA
  3. 3.College of Public Health Division of Health Behavior and Health PromotionThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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