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Why study Family & Intimate Partner Violence?

The burden of IPV on racial and ethnic minorities is not well documented. However, research has suggested that individuals of Hispanics and African origin are disproportionately affected by IPV. Findings from a five-year study of IPV among a nationally representative sample of couples in the U.S. indicated that Hispanics and Blacks were found to experience more than twice the incidence of IPV (25% each) than Whites (11%), (Caetano, Field, Ramisetty-Mikler & McGrath, 2005).  More recently, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NIPSVS) identified bisexual women and men to be more likely to report IPV than homosexual and heterosexual women and men (CDC, 2013). These data underscore the need for rigorous culture-specific research designed to better understand and address the occurrence of IPV in multicultural communities.

What are we doing at El Centro to help prevent Intimate Partner Violence and other forms of violence against women and teens?

El Centro has been conducting research on IPV as it affects women men adolescents and families of Hispanic descent and victims of IPV more broadly. This research has supported the integration of IPV prevention and interventions within HIV, substance abuse and mental health services.  Research at El Centro developed and evaluated the first efficacious HIV prevention program for Hispanic women that documented a decrease in IPV among its participants, SEPA (Salud, Educación, Prevención y Autocuidado (Health, Education, Prevention and Self-care).  El Centro has established a strong community-academic partnership with the MDC Community Action and Human Services Department, The Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC), that has laid the foundation for a productive and community-informed research agenda. This agenda has resulted in dating violence prevention, HIV/STI testing among victims of IPV, the prevention of domestic violence homicide and other programs for victims and the general community.