Trauma-Focused Interventions for Domestic Violence Survivors


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a form of trauma that can result in significant mental health distress for victims. Rates of clinical depression and posttraumatic stress disorder are higher among abused versus non-abused women, particularly if victims have experienced other lifetime trauma. While there are numerous interventions designed to reduce traumainduced mental health symptoms, most were originally developed to address events that have occurred in the past (e.g., combat, childhood sexual abuse). Many IPV survivors are still under threat of ongoing abuse or stalking, which not only directly impacts their physical and psychological safety but impacts treatment options, as well. Little is known about the extent to which existing evidence-based trauma treatment modalities are applicable to, or require modification for, IPV survivors. This paper, then, reviews the trauma-based treatments that have been designed or modified specifically for IPV survivors and provides cautions and recommendations for moving forward.

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