Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

LaVonne Fox


Domestic Violence; Occupational Therapy


Literature indicates that the current services provided to women of domestic violence typically include emergency housing, crisis counseling, and short-term legal and financial assistance (Gorde, Helfrich, & Finlayson, 2004). While these resources provide necessary immediate support to the victim, she may often feel powerless to make long-term changes. If adequate long-term resources and support are not available to the victim, the victim is more likely to return to an abusive situation.

The review of literature focuses on obtaining a deeper understanding of the needs that exist for women subsequent to leaving an abusive relationship, and how to prevent the risk of re-victimization. Factors that influence the woman to remain in the abusive situation are the cycle of abuse, the types of abuse and their subsequent effects, and the daily living skills needs of the women that are not addressed in current programs. A needs assessment with the Community Violence Intervention Center and the literature determined that women require assistance with a variety of daily living skills. One possible way to stop this cycle of return is participation in a long term group to support independent functioning of victims of domestic violence within their communities.

Therefore, an activity manual was developed to assist the women with developing the daily living skills necessary to remain free of an abusive relationship. The manual is titled: The Wings of Change: Occupational Therapy Activities for Women of Domestic Violence. The Wings of Change manual was created for Occupational Therapists to implement in an aftercare women's group setting for victims of domestic violence.

The Wings of Change manual is divided into four areas: 1) Personal Skill Development, 2) Social Skill Development, 3) Work, Education and Leisure Skill Development, and 4) Family Skill Development. These areas address the living skill that victims of domestic violence victims are currently experiencing challenges. Each activity provides guidance for the therapist to prepare, administer, and process the group activity. These activities assist the women in becoming their own agent of change in their daily lives.