Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2018: Six Editor’s Picks from the Journal of Family Violence

DVAM 2018 Visuals © SpringerSince October 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month has served as a time of acknowledgement, activity, and recognition of both the problem of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its potential solutions (Domestic Violence Awareness Project, n.d.). In appreciation of the 31st Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, the Journal of Family Violence (JOFV) presents six “Editor’s Picks” articles about IPV that have appeared in JOFV in 2018. 

Studies on IPV continue to be critically important because this form of family violence is prevalent and significant (e.g., Smith et al., 2017). IPV impacts victims’ emotional and physical health, their family and social relationships, and even their housing, careers, and economic opportunities. IPV can also lead to victims’ deaths. With few available evidence-based practices to prevent and end IPV, JOFV aims to help solve this serious problem by promoting scholarly solutions for IPV.

Over the past year, JOFV has published many valuable studies concerning IPV. From this overall body of research, the Editor has selected six articles to bring attention to and renewed interest in these noteworthy studies, as well as the important topics each study investigates.

Three of the studies offer recommendations for how changes in public health and legal policies could help address IPV and prevent violence. Prickett and her colleagues (2018) investigated state laws that prohibit firearm ownership for domestic violence offenders and determined results that can inform public health policies to decrease intimate-partner homicide. A study led by Holmes (2018) determined that children’s IPV exposure results in increased healthcare costs, increased crime costs, and reduced productivity, which in turn results in significant costs to families and our communities. Lee’s and Backes’ (2018) article shows that IPV victims and their children could be significantly helped with greater access to low- or no-cost civil counsel in divorce, custody, and protective order proceedings. In turn, access to civil counsel could prevent and end IPV for many families.

The other three “Editor Picks” articles offer valuable recommendations for how the field can advance and enhance research on IPV. Sullivan (2018) provides both a novel conceptual model and theory of change that will help guide future research on services for IPV victims. Goodman and her colleagues (2018) offers recommendations for developing and disseminating IPV research that is both community-based and fully participatory, which in turn will result in meaningful studies that include the perspectives of community members, survivors, and their families. Hayes (2018) highlights the application of life history calendars to studies on IPV because this often under-used method can help address key data collection and analytic challenges often faced by researchers in our field.

These six articles– both on their own and collectively– present beneficial insights for IPV practice, policy, and research. These articles also demonstrate JOFV’s ongoing commitment to offering a platform that highlights the problem of IPV and its consequences, as well as offers research-based solutions that can help prevent and end IPV.

By noting JOFV’s IPV research this Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2018, the Journal seeks to acknowledge and honor the victims and survivors of IPV. The entire team at JOFV would also like to express our gratitude to the advocates, professionals, policymakers, researchers, and volunteers who are committed to ending this terrible form of family violence once and for all.


Editor's Picks:

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Macy18hires © Springer

Rebecca J. Macy, MSW, PhD

Professor and the L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair for Strengthening Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Since 2017, she has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Family Violence.

Her program of research comprises 16 years’ experience conducting community-based studies that focus on violence prevention, specifically intimate partner violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and improving services for survivors of violence and trafficking. Dedicated to finding the most effective and feasible strategies, she regularly conducts investigations in community settings, working in collaboration with survivors, service providers, and policy makers.


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