Mediator Strategies When Working With Child-Custody and Divorce Cases Involving Intimate Partner Violence
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Many family mediators encounter intimate partner violence (IPV) during the course of child-custody and divorce mediation. By interviewing family mediators in Oregon I have established concrete strategies that mediators use when working with parties who may have a history of IPV. These strategies may be structural, such as building design and intake procedures, or they may be verbal interventions employed during the course of mediation. Mediators employed a wide variety of strategies based on their experience, situations, and intuition. Some strategies, like the use of shuttle mediation, were used by all the mediators I contacted. Other strategies, such as naming problematic behavior, were limited to only a few of the mediators. All the participating family mediators were aware of the possibility of IPV and consciously took measures to limit its influence on the mediation process when it existed.