The mission of the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence is to be the premier site for research, education, clinical care, and community collaboration on family violence prevention and intervention.
A world in which people of all ages are safe within their families and relationships.
The Problem of Family Violence
Family violence causes untold suffering for millions of people worldwide. Physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse and other forms of violence, as well as neglect or abandonment, occur in severe forms at all ages of the lifespan, from infancy through late adulthood. When such violence is perpetrated by family members, intimate partners, or caregivers, it is recurrent in the family context and typically increases in frequency and severity if there is no effective intervention. Despite the attention paid to family violence over the past several decades, it remains a devastating problem that is growing in scope and intensity worldwide. UCI’s Initiative to End Family Violence brings together a broad array of faculty and community partners to address this multifaceted problem that has wide-ranging societal impacts.
Violence Across the Lifespan
Our Initiative promotes studies on violence across the lifespan, including child abuse, children exposed to domestic violence, teen dating violence, intimate partner violence, abuse of people with disabilities of all ages, and elder abuse. In contrast, current study of and response to non-stranger abuse typically segregates child abuse, adult domestic violence, and elder abuse. Responding in silos disregards the intergenerational effect of violence. Research shows that witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
The Initiative combines an unprecedented range of disciplines and experts in violence prevention and treatment across the lifespan. Faculty from 20 departments and 10 schools include participants from art, biological and physical sciences, engineering, information and computer science, law, medicine and health sciences, social ecology, social sciences, and other fields. The Initiative is intended to foster innovative forms of collaboration and integration, aiming to produce groundbreaking research that can impact policy, clinical care, social services, and education, from local to global levels.
Research, Policy, and Practice
Our aim is to provide a rigorous scientific approach to a complex topic that is informed by critical theory, the work of practitioners (including the faculty who are doctors, nurses, lawyers, and therapists), and our community partners. We study lifespan manifestations and causes of family violence, socio-cultural factors, preventative measures, and interventions for family violence and the treatment of trauma.