Preventing Partner Violence in Refugee and Immigrant Communities

Refugees and immigrants who face intimate partner violence (IPV) have special barriers to receiving appropriate services. Their native country’s traditional norms and cultural practices act as both protective and contributing factors to IPV. For example, addressing IPV in refugee and immigrant communities requires remedies within the relationship and the family, rather than separating perpetrators and victims as is the norm in U.S. domestic violence prevention strategies.

In order to generate practice-based evidence on the most effective psychosocial interventions and prevention strategies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched Preventing Partner Violence in Immigrant Communities: Strengthening What Works, a three-year national program.

Grantees selected to be evaluated include organizations that:

  • Engage young people whose attitudes are still forming
  • Address multiple and overlapping layers of discrimination
  • Engage spiritual and community leaders
  • Target unhealthy traditional or religious practices
  • Overcome shame and stigma
  • Draw on informal networks of support
  • Challenge community norms that tolerate IPV
  • Include men and women in programming
  • Build community capacity or “social capital”

Through evaluation of the program’s eight grantees, creative, innovative and effective approaches to preventing IPV among refugee and immigrant populations will be identified, strengthened and disseminated.