Course Summary

Practice Level: Intermediate

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a worldwide phenomenon with negative effects across multiple life domains leading to varied individual and interpersonal problems.  Many victims do not seek help to address the IPV or their reactions to this trauma. The difficulties many victims of abuse face can be complex and multi-layered.  When survivors do decide to seek help, social workers, marriage and family therapists, counselors, and psychologists can play pivotal roles in offering a sense of compassion and empathy that help build trust. Clinicians can expect that survivors will bring many complex and challenging issues to treatment.  Because there is no one model for symptom presentation, treatment needs to be tailored to individual needs.  Understanding that survivors have unique experiences, narratives, and needs allows practitioners to create a treatment approach that addresses multiple dimensions. Clinicians can assist survivors in creating safety plans and because the negative impacts of trauma are complex and complicated, intervention strategies often address various difficulties in multiple life domains.  Interventions can be individualized for victims, perpetrators and their children.  These practices must also integrate cultural practices, beliefs, and traditions if they are to be effective with survivors of diverse groups.  Many clinicians can benefit from understanding the traumatic reactions, help-seeking, and intervention approaches. For learners interested in a specific segment of this course, it is part of a series of courses each of which offers even greater detail on certain topics within the course.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you’re ready, purchase the course by clicking the “Add To Cart” or “Enroll” button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the different types of intimate partner violence.
  • Recognize indicators of intimate partner violence for each type.
  • Identify different types of intimate partner violence prevention strategies.
  • Explain the value and procedures of screening, immediate intervention, and assessment for IPV.
  • Explain help seeking dynamics, reasons why many victims do not seek help, and the transtheoretical stages of change model.
  • List the components of a safety plan.
  • Recognize the multidimensional levels of trauma individuals exposed to intimate partner violence may experience.
  • Describe trauma-informed treatment and specific interventions for IPV survivors and families.
  • Analyze factors in IPV perpetration, IPV homicide, and perpetrator treatment.
  • Identify legal and mandatory reporting issues relevant to IPV intervention.
  • Recognize cultural considerations in treatment planning.
  • Explain specific intervention techniques and applications for individuals, children, and families.
  • Describe aspects of culture that shape varied meanings of IPV trauma.
  • Explain how minority stress theory applies to victims of IPV.
  • Identify IPV-related issues among survivors of varied cultural/ethnic groups.
  • Recognize special populations that are disproportionately affected by IPV and important factors related to their help seeking.

Course Syllabus

Myths about IPV and the Truth
Types, Terminology, and Definitions
US Prevalence Estimates
            Physical Violence
            Sexual Violence
            IPV-related Homicide
Indicators of IPV
            Perpetrator Traits
            Prevention at the Individual-Level
            Prevention at the Community-Level
            Prevention at the Society-Level
            Organizational Practices for Providers
Universal Screening
            Screening Tools and Instruments
            Screening for Perpetration Risk
            Tips for Screening
Immediate Intervention
            Crisis Hotlines
            Intake Assessments
Challenges with “Leaving”
Help Seeking
            Transtheoretical Stages of Change Model
            Factors Affecting Help-Seeking Behaviors
Safety Planning
Multidimensional Levels of Trauma
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Other Problems Associated with IPV
            Subthreshold Symptoms of PTSD
            Coping Strategies
            Problems that May Be a Focus of Clinical Treatment
            Integrated or Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
            Concurrent Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use with                                                Prolonged Exposure (COPE)
Perpetrators of IPV
            IPV-Related Homicide and Murder-Suicide
            Perpetrator Treatment
Legal Issues
Mandatory Reporting
Cultural Considerations in Treatment
Culture and Trauma

Cultural and Social Norms That Support Violence
            Child Maltreatment
            Community Violence
            Intimate Partner Violence
            Child Marriages and Genital Mutilation
Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Among IPV Survivors
            Immigrants and Refugees
            Latino/a/x Americans
            African Americans
            Asian Americans
            Hawaiian Natives and Pacific Islanders
            American Indians and Alaska Natives
            Middle Eastern Americans (Western Asian Americans)
Special Populations
            Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Individuals
            Adolescents and Young Adults
            Persons with Disabilities
Geographically Isolated Individuals
Economically Disadvantaged Individuals
Provider Self-Care


Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW

Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She is a professor of social work at Gallaudet University and teaches practice, theory, and research in the MSW program. Her recent research focuses on deaf and hard of hearing populations, especially in the areas of behavioral health, intimate partner violence, telemental health, well-being, and help-seeking.

Accreditation Approval Statements, provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 7 clinical continuing education credits.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

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