Brief Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Virtual Home Visits
Sarah Prendergast, Heather Sandstrom, Grace Atukpawu-Tipton
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Violence between current or former romantic partners, known as intimate partner violence (IPV), is a serious public health problem. It may involve sexual violence, stalking, physical violence, and/or psychological aggression. In families with young children, IPV exposure can adversely affect child mental health and social, physical, and cognitive development. By observing families in the home, home visitors are uniquely positioned to identify and support families experiencing violence and to improve IPV outcomes. The recent transition to virtual home visiting brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, has introduced new challenges.

This brief synthesizes the research evidence to address the following questions:

  • How does IPV affect families?
  • What is home visiting's role in addressing IPV?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of virtual home visiting?
  • How can home visitors safely screen for IPV during virtual visits?
  • How can home visitors support families experiencing IPV?


This brief was developed for the National Home Visiting Resource Center and is available on its website. The NHVRC is led by James Bell Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute. Support is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Research Areas Education Health and health care Families Children and youth Workforce
Tags Workforce development Maternal, child, and reproductive health Family violence Kids in context
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population