Published: May, 2017| Sandra Tibbetts Murphy, J.D

For many years, advocates and their programs have found themselves in complicated situations, where two people who appear to have opposing interests seek their assistance. 

Traditionally, the response has been to claim that the individual advocates, as well as their agencies, have a “conflict of interest” that prohibits continuing assistance to at least one of the identified parties. The question remains, however, absent some kind of professional licensing or statutory requirement, whether advocates individually, and their agencies, have an obligation to avoid situations which present seemingly competing interests.  That is, are advocates and domestic violence programs required to identify and prevent “conflicts of interest?”