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Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle, including partners, ex-partners, and immediate family members. This term is used when there is a close relationship between the offender and the victim. Domestic violence can take any from physical, psychological, and sexual abuse (Cronholm et al., n.d.). Domestic violence can take various forms from child abuse, senior abuse, honor-based violence like honor killings and forced marriage, and abuse by an intimate partner. Women form the largest group of victims of domestic violence. Nonetheless, the elderly, men, and children can also be victims of domestic violence as it occurs at all levels. Domestic violence often occurs when an individual or abuser believes they are entitled to it, or it is justified, acceptable, and unlikely to be reported (Phillips & Vandenbroek, 2014). This might produce an intergenerational cycle of violence in children and other family members who feel such violence is acceptable. Furthermore, many individuals do not recognize themselves as victims or abusers as they might consider their experiences as family conflicts. In domestic violence, there might be a cycle of abuse during which tension rises and the act of violence committed followed by periods of calm and reconciliation. Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in these situations through power and control, isolation, traumatic bonding to the abuser, lack of financial resources, shame, cultural acceptance, and protecting children (Laing & Humphreys, 2013).

Practice Question

Social workers dealing with domestic violence issues aim to empower individuals while restoring their well being and dignity through prevention frameworks. These frameworks provide services that are helpful to individuals in various ways. Thus, it is key for social workers to consider the practice question: What primary prevention strategies have successfully reduced families suffering from intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

Intimate partner violence is any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes psychological or sexual harm to those in a relationship. Intimate partner violence includes acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, emotional abuse, and controlling behaviors by a current or former partner (Cronholm et al., n.d.). These intimate partner violence victims are the target group in the practice question. Nevertheless, various strategies and prevention frameworks can reduce the number of new instances of intimate partner violence or sexual violence. Primary prevention frameworks seek to reduce the harmful consequences of an act of violence after it has occurred or prevent further acts of violence from occurring once it has been identified (Rivas et al., 2016). This revolves around identifying the underlying risk and protective factors for intimate-partner violence while taking action to address those factors.


International responses to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women have been grounded mainly in the human rights framework, understanding the pervasiveness of violence against women to be an obstacle to equality, development, and enjoyment of fundamental freedoms and rights (Taylor et al., n.d.). The awareness of intimate partner violence and sexual violence sparks numerous initiatives to measure the extent of the problem, especially violence by intimate partners. The stated practice question also investigates the risk factors of intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence results from the interaction of several factors. These factors include gender inequality, social norms supportive of traditional gender roles, poverty, unemployment, economic stress, lack of institutional support, dysfunctional, unhealthy relationships characterized by a power imbalance, inequality, alcohol and substance abuse, and witnessing or being a victim of violence as a child (Laing & Humphreys, 2013). These indicate the importance of addressing intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

Moreover, the primary prevention frameworks offer ways of reducing the factors that cause intimate partner violence. These frameworks include early childhood and family-based approaches, interventions to reduce alcohol and substance abuse, public information and awareness campaigns, school-based approaches, and community-based approaches (Turner, 2017).

Domestic violence in intimate partners is a key issue in many individuals’ lives. Approximately 13% and 61% of ever partnered women reported physical abuse by a partner during their lives. Additionally, an intimate partner’s lifetime prevalence of sexual violence ranged from 6% to 59% (Phillips & Vandenbroek, 2014). Thus, it is essential in social work to reduce the instances of domestic violence by focusing on prevention frameworks. This helps create awareness that helps break the cycle of domestic violence in intimate partners (Allen et al., 2021). As a social worker, it is key to become the changemaker in societal concerns guided by prevention frameworks of domestic violence. Social workers advocate for various resources to educate the community about the health impacts of domestic violence. Moreover, promoting healthy relationships and respect in the community is essential in social work. This can be achieved by ensuring equality in relationships by protecting individuals against intimate partner violence (Taylor et al., n.d.). Subsequently, reducing intimate partner violence reduces health consequences for the victim, including chronic pain, heart disease, cancer, gynecological issues, diabetes, and mental health complications. Social workers have the responsibility of preventing violence so that everyone can be safe and healthy. This can be achieved by using prevention frameworks in social work by critically evaluating intimate partner instances to demonstrate value to victims of intimate partner violence.


Allen, A., Robertson, E., interpersonal, G. P.-J. of, & 2021, undefined. (2021). Improving emotional and cognitive outcomes for domestic violence survivors: The impact of shelter stay and self-compassion support groups. Journals.Sagepub.Com36(2), 598–624.

Cronholm, P., Fogarty, C., … B. A.-A. family, & 2011, undefined. (n.d.). Intimate partner violence. Aafp.Org. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from

Laing, L., & Humphreys, C. (2013). Social work and domestic violence: Developing critical and reflective practice.

Phillips, J., & Vandenbroek, P. (2014). Domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia: an overview of the issues.

Rivas, C., Ramsay, J., Sadowski, L., Davidson, L., Dunne, D., Eldridge, S., Hegarty, K., Tat, A., & Feder, G. (2016). Advocacy Interventions to Reduce or Eliminate Violence and Promote the Physical. Idvch.Com12(1), 1–202.

Taylor, L., Coffey, D., work, T. K.-H. & social, & 2016, undefined. (n.d.). Interprofessional education of health professionals: Social workers should lead the way. Academic.Oup.Com. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from

Turner, F. (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches. &ots=wgGh5e4FF4&sig=TaQtPOLE9ptgLWhiJVRu018BgCw


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