Building Community Partnerships to End Interpersonal Violence: A Collaboration of the Schools of Social Work, Law, and Nursing
The article discusses the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT Austin) Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA), an institution that was established in 2001. IDVSA is a collaboration of the Schools of Social Work, Law, and Nursing, and 150 community affiliates. Recognizing that interpersonal violence does not occur in a vacuum, the IDVSA operates within an ecological framework in which explanations for interpersonal violence acknowledge that individuals and families are nested in larger mezzo and macro systems, and factors such as gender, poverty, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and immigration status play influential roles in our understanding of these issues. The overarching goal is to advance knowledge and meaningful practice in the field through partnerships with survivors and community practitioners. Specifically, the mission is to advance the knowledge related to domestic violence and sexual assault in order to end interpersonal violence. IDVSA seeks to achieve its mission by focusing on three key areas: (1) rigorous research and scholarship on domestic violence and sexual assault; (2) comprehensive training, technical assistance, and information dissemination to the practitioner community and the community at large; and (3) substantial collaboration with our community partners. This article summarizes the authors’ pursuit.