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Simmons University School of Social Work Launches New Domestic and Sexual Violence Training for Massachusetts Licensed Health Professionals

Simmons University’s School of Social Work has announced that it is now offering a comprehensive online domestic violence and sexual violence (DV/SV) training to educate Massachusetts-based health professionals and prepare them for work with survivors, children exposed to violence, and people who engage in violence.

The training, Simmons University Massachusetts Chapter 260 Training on Domestic and Sexual Violence, is designed to meet state law requirements, which mandates that health professionals participate in DV/SV training in order to be licensed by their respective boards. The training was developed to fulfil the Chapter 260 mandate and has been approved by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health.

“Domestic and sexual violence is a pervasive problem that virtually every health professional will encounter at some point in their career,” says Kristie Thomas, PhD, MSW, an associate professor of social work at Simmons University, and the training’s lead designer. “This new training is a crucial resource that provides essential knowledge and tools to social workers, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals so they can enhance care and better serve their patients impacted by sexual and domestic violence.”

The online training, which takes about three and a half hours, is informed by the latest empirical evidence and best practices, and is designed to be easily accessible so health professionals can apply it in their work.

“The training requirements of Chapter 260 will help ensure that every health professional working with someone impacted by sexual and domestic violence is informed about these difficult issues and can provide the best possible care,” says Judy Benitez Clancy, director of the Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. “Simmons University has provided high-quality online domestic violence training for several years. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health was excited to approve this new training, which includes extensive information about both sexual violence and domestic violence.”

The training is organized into four units and covers a variety of topics, including the health impacts of DV/SV, common physiological symptoms, the immediate and long-term impacts on survivors, the role of structural oppression in increasing risk and decreasing help-seeking, prevention strategies, reporting requirements, and a range of resources for people who are affected by DV/SV.

“Simmons University is a leader in educating students in social work and public health, and we’re pleased to offer this new training that is easily accessible online,” says Stephanie Berzin, PhD, MSW, dean of the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice at Simmons University. “This training provides crucial knowledge and tools that thousands of health professionals across Massachusetts can utilize and apply in a tangible way to their practices.”

Massachusetts’ Chapter 260 law requires that the following groups of health professionals participate in the DV/SV training: physicians, licensed mental health counselors, social workers (LICSW, LCSW), psychologists (APA), licensed educational psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, physician assistants, nursing home administrators, nurses, and licensed rehabilitation counselors.

“People who experience sexual and domestic violence interact with a wide host of health and human service providers who can be a big part of their healing process,” says Debra J. Robbin, executive director of Jane Doe Inc. “This online training can make a tremendous difference in the readiness and ability of these caregivers to identify, support, and refer people who are impacted by abuse to sexual and domestic violence programs. We also appreciate the inclusive, survivor centered, and trauma informed content and philosophy that runs throughout the training.”

The training will be accessible online through Simmons University and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at https://sites.google.com/a/simmons.edu/chapter-260-dv-sv-training/home.

Source: Simmons University