Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Justice Policy

Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers


This guide uses a question-and-answer format to inform victim advocates and service providers of the findings of published research on intimate partner violence (IPV) and their relevance for practice. The first of 13 sections of the guide poses and answers 11 questions pertinent to the issue, “What is intimate partner violence?” The issues addressed include the various behaviors and circumstances that constitute IPV, whether men and women are equally likely to be victims or perpetrators of IPV, and whether women’s use of IPV is different from men’s.The second major section poses and answers 12 questions related to IPV victimization rates, addressing issues of populations at increased risk for IPV, with special attention to women who are separated or divorced, pregnant, disabled, elderly, LGBT, live in rural areas. The guide’s third section poses and answers 19 questions related to the impact of IPV on victims. The fourth section poses and answers 20 questions related to the characteristics of persons who perpetrate IPV.  Other sections of the guide pose and answer questions related to victim characteristics that predict IPV victimization; whether IPV victims seek assistance and services; protective factors and coping skills that mitigate the adverse impact of IPV; the services that are typically available to IPV victims; whether victim services work; health-care providers’ role in responding to IPV; what victim advocates and service providers need to know about the legal system; the features of IPV victim advocacy; and the performance measures advocates should adopt in evaluating the criminal justice response to IPV.  The implications drawn from the research are offered as guidance, not rules of practice. 884 references are provided.

This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has not been published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

For more information, please contact Barbara Hart, JD,

Suggested Citation:  Hart BJ, Klein AF. Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Criminal Justice Reference Service; January, 2013. NCJ 244348.

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
December 31, 2013

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