Intimate Partner Violence ​

 Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a serious public health problem affecting individuals in every community. IPV can be manifested in forms of physical or sexual violence, aggression, stalking or psychological harm by either a current or former intimate partner. Recent estimates from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicated that almost 20 people per minute in the U.S. are physically abused by an intimate partner, which equates to about 10 million men and women in one year (Black et al., 2010). Additionally, about one in 15 children are exposed to IPV. In Utah, statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] reveal that in 2012 "more than 3,114 men, women and children entered shelters to escape domestic violence" (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2015).  


Furthermore, IPV is an extremely multifaceted problem. Risk factors for becoming a victim or perpetrator include a combination of individual, relational, community and societal factors. Examples include poor mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, personality traits, unemployment, low academic achievement, poverty, traditional gender norms, a history of physical or psychological abuse and much more (CDC, 2015). Consequences of IPV on the victim and perpetrator range from physical injury or illness, negative reproductive health, economic loss, trauma, mental illness and in some severe cases even death. It can be devastating on members of the family and have lasting effects across one's lifetime and across generations. For instance, children exposed to IPV have negative social and health consequences such as depression, anxiety, poor school performance and even a higher risk of experiencing IPV later in life (World Health Organization, 2012). IPV significantly hinders healthy family relationships, marriage quality, and children's' behavioral outcomes. This conference will discuss best practices in clinical work with IPV victims, perpetrators, and affected children as well as current research on improving treatment outcomes.


On the encouraging side, research generally shows that IPV can be treated with some success and that recidivism among perpetrators can be significantly lowered, especially when intervention is provided in earlier stages (Stith, et al., 2004) or at critical times such as the birth of the couple's first baby (Feinberg, et al., 2016). Comparative studies have looked at the efficacy of various treatment approaches (Gilbert, et al, 2016) and there is a well-established line of research on prevention (Mathews, et al, 2016). The evidence on the impact of observing IPV on children is beginning to emerge as a major child protection issue (see, e.g. Holt, et. al, 2008). The purpose of this conference is to address research on IPV​ and how it informs clinical practice with victims, perpetrators and affected children.