Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors—physical assault, psychological or emotional abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, stalking—designed to establish control by a person who is, was or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship. IPV is a widespread, costly and complex social problem nationwide with serious health and safety implications.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation solicited the assistance of the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) to collect information on the challenges, prevention and treatment of IPV in immigrant and refugee communities. After reviewing the literature, collecting data from interviews and examining existing prevention and treatment programs, FVPF issued this report, which offers recommendations and summaries for future work and funding efforts.

Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Challenges, Promising Practices and Recommendations examines the issue from a variety of standpoints, including the legal rights and practical challenges facing immigrant and refugee victims of violence, the ways systems are responding, and the promising practices that offer hope for these victims. The report contains four sections:

  • Background information, including a definition of IPV, data about the incidence of this problem, and discussion of special dynamics in refugee and immigrant communities.
  • An overview of the needs and challenges of immigrant and refugee IPV victims and service providers, including case studies that draw on interviews with leaders and staff of seven programs across the United States.
  • Recommendations for funders, service providers and policy-makers to serve the various needs of IPV victims.
  • A discussion of IPV research and evaluation issues that need to be addressed in refugee and immigrant communities.