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Writing Ethics
Ethics in Victim Services
by Melissa Hook

The practice of victim assistance inherently includes a multiplicity of complicated, and sometimes conflicting, interests, and ethical dilemmas that, by definition, do not lend themselves to clear-cut answers.
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Ethics in Victim Services is designed to help victim assistance professionals identify, analyze, and resolve the many ethical dilemmas they face in their daily work. The book offers an abundance of ethical challenges to be resolved and a toolbox for applying ethical standards in the real world. Some of the key ideas discussed include:
  • Standards of competency and professional ethics
  • Self-Awareness
  • Confidentiality and Exceptions to Confidentiality
  • Dual Relationships
  • Legal Obligations
  • Multi-Cultural Competency and Ethical Responsibilities
  • Differences in approach between community-based and system-based victim assistance providers
Geared to practitioners in the field, this text should serve as a model for victim service providers to create codes of ethics in their organizations and agencies. It offers a starting point for an ongoing national dialogue that will advance to the creation of statewide and national standards for victim assistance providers. The end result will be consistent, high-quality services and support for victims of crime and increasing professionalism in the field of victim assistance.

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© 2005 Victims' Assistance Legal Organization