ACCESS: Advancing Career Counseling and Employment Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Program Overview

Women from all races, ethnicities, nationalities, social classes, and abilities experience domestic violence in opposite- and same-sex intimate studentpartnerships. The ACCESS Intervention Program is inclusive and builds on the values, strengths, and skills of survivors and their communities.

The Program is a series of five group counseling sessions, facilitated through the use of ACCESS Program materials. It was developed for use in community agencies, shelters, institutions, and classrooms as a way to help survivors of domestic violence identify long-term educational, financial and career solutions. 

What Is Included in the ACCESS Intervention Program?

The ACCESS program package includes:

Who Can Use the ACCESS Program?

The ACCESS program may be used by social service providers, educators, advocates, and researchers who are working in community agencies, classrooms, institutes, shelters, and who want to use the ACCESS program curriculum to:

  • Support women as they explore and identify their career interests.
  • Help women identify, develop, and use career-related skills.
  • Increase women’s knowledge of various career opportunities.
  • Help women identify and plan their short- and long-term career goals.
  • Connect women with community resources and support networks.

For the best outcomes, program facilitators should be knowledgeable about domestic violence and its impact on women and have direct experience working with violence survivors.

What Is the Structure of the ACCESS Program?

Using the facilitator's curriculum manual, service providers set up a career counseling group that can be led by one or two group facilitators. Limiting groups to 6–10 women allows women to have enough time to share their experiences and complete group activities. The groups include five 2-hour sessions, which are typically held once a week.

Group activities outlined in the curriculum manual and participant workbooks include looking upthose activities that researchers have identified as most effective for positive career outcomes. Activities include written exercises, individualized career assessments and feedback, work and educational training information, role modeling emphases, and attention to building support networks. Program activities also guide group members through using the online Career Information System application for extensive individual assessment and career exploration assistance.


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