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A Systematic Review of Trauma-Focused Interventions for Domestic Violence Survivors

General Material
Published Date
February, 2013

This literature review provides an analysis of nine trauma-based treatments specifically designed or modified for survivors of domestic violence, along with caveats and recommendations for research and practice going forward.

Key findings included the following: Trauma treatments that have been modified to meet the specific needs of IPV survivors hold promise in helping women recover and successfully move on with their lives. Additional research is needed to address the domains not examined by these studies, particularly for survivors who have experienced multiple forms of trauma and for survivors from culturally specific communities. While it is too early to know definitively which treatments work best for which survivors, evidence suggests that helpful components may include (1) psychoeducation about the causes and consequences of IPV and its traumatic effects; (2) attention to ongoing safety; (3) cognitive and emotional skill development to address trauma-related symptoms and other life goals and concerns; and (4) a focus on survivors’ strengths as well as cultural strengths on which they can draw.