RSI Publishes Report on Improving Pre-Mediation Screening for Intimate Partner Violence through Proposed Online Tool

Just Court ADR by Susan M. Yates, Jennifer Shack, Heather Scheiwe Kulp, and Jessica Glowinski.

Over the past year, RSI has been working on a project researching and exploring whether and how an online tool could improve the frequency and competency with which mediators screen for intimate partner violence (IPV) prior to mediation. Under a planning grant from the Family and Interpersonal Resilience and Safety Transformation (FIRST) Fund, RSI has been able to study the current landscape of screening tools, survey experts in IPV dynamics (as well as lawyers, judges and mediators) about the divergence between best and actual practices, and convene those experts to explore how to close that gap. As a result of that work, we have  published this extensive report, which outlines the features of RSI’s proposed solution and the steps needed to actualize it.

Among the many findings in the report, we note that it is critical to develop a tool geared towards new mediators and those who mediate on an infrequent schedule. These are the mediators who our research found would be most receptive to an online screening tool. Also, because adequate screening is essential to ensuring parties will be safe and able to exercise self-determination throughout the mediation process, the use of such a tool by new and intermittent mediators would greatly improve the mediation services their parties receive. Accordingly, we advocate for developing a tool that has low barriers to use (e.g. does not required significant specialized training) and is provided free of cost to mediators to encourage its wide adoption.

We recognize that there a number of existing protocols, such as SAFeR and MASIC (both of whose creators provided valuable input to our research), which serve as high-quality screening tools. However, no existing solution we found provided mediators a free, easy-to-use, guided process to screen parties for IPV. The reality, confirmed by our survey of the field, is that screening does not happen at the level and with the expertise that  the seriousness of IPV demands. One of the next steps will be to determine if there are funders who are enthusiastic about developing this tool.

Thank you to the FIRST Fund and all the expert voices who assisted RSI in the development of this report.

                        author

Eric Slepak

Eric Slepak is the Resource Center Director at Resolution Systems Institute.  His duties include: Manage creation and dissemination of content across all RSI's platforms, including CourtADR.org Resource Center, award-winning Just Court ADR blog, and monthly Court ADR Connection newsletter. Respond to inquiries from court administrators and other professionals seeking to develop, manage, and… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

What’s Attention Got To Do With It? Quantum Physics Of The Brain In Mediation

From Stephanie West Allen's blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution. I often talk about the importance of paying attention to what you are paying attention to in conflict resolution, and...

By Stephanie West Allen
Category

ABA Presents Mediate.com with Institutional Award

The 2010 American Bar Association (ABA) Lawyer as Problem Solver Award was presented to Mediate.com as the institutional recipient April 9, 2010 at the American Bar Association Section of Dispute...

By Mediate.com Staff
Category

Is Divorce The Real Target?

When the fire of love feels dead or the threat of divorce is put on the table what is really happening? Too often professionals hear those words and assume the...

By Armand and Robbin DAlo

Find a Mediator

X
X
X