Social workers are at the forefront in preventing domestic violence and treating domestic violence survivors.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States although it remains seriously underreported.
Almost 25 percent of women and eight percent of men said at some point in their lives they have been raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner or dating partner or acquaintance, according to U.S. Department of Justice data.
And each year about 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner.
Social workers are at the forefront in preventing domestic violence and treating victims of domestic violence.
For instance, social workers provide counseling and support through shelter programs, individual counseling, and court advocacy. Social workers also advocate for programs and legislation to address domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month is in October. NASW's social workers to help you understand the scope of domestic violence, how to recognize signs it is occurring and what can be done to help victims, and how to prevent future violence.
Bent-Goodley is a social work professor and director of the doctoral program at the Howard University School of Social Work. Bent-Goodley also serves as the director of the Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program.
Part of Bent-Goodley’s research has focused on violence against women and girls. She is also chair of the National Association of Social Workers Committee on Women’s Initiatives and author of the NASW Press publication "The Ultimate Betrayal: A Renewed Look at Intimate Partner Violence."
Cline is the prevention programs director for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network and has been working in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence for more than 20 years.
She has been working at the state level with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence since 2006 to implement Pathways in Prevention: A Roadmap for Change, Ohio's plan for sexual and intimate partner violence prevention.
Magen is a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage. He has done extensive research and writing on how domestic abuse is tied to child abuse and domestic abuse among Native Alaskans.
Magen also worked as a volunteer mediator at the Brooklyn Mediation Center, Victims Service Agency in New York and the Midwest Domestic Violence Resource Center in Madison, Wisc. He is also a past president of the NASW Alaska Chapter.
Webb is a senior policy advisor in social work practice at the NASW and staffs the NASW Committee on Women’s Issues. Webb also covers domestic violence issues for the association.
Before joining NASW, Rita was executive director of a nonprofit child welfare residential therapeutic program for physically and sexually abused children in foster care. For nearly seven years she was the assistant director of field instruction at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work, where she worked with several domestic violence programs in hospitals, universities and the community.
NASW Chief Executive Officer Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, wrote this NASW News column about the White Ribbon Day Campaign, which challenges men to take active steps to end violence against women.
This NASW Practice Update highlights the health and mental health impact of domestic violence and the role social workers play in addressing domestic violence.
This NASW Practice Perspectives looks at how domestic violence is addressed across different races and cultures.
This NASW Practice Perspectives looks at how women and children who are exposed to domestic violence may experience long-term health and mental health issues.
by Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD, MSW, LICSW
A person may be experiencing domestic violence (also known as interpersonal partner abuse) if some or all of these characteristics are present.
For more information or to arrange an interview with one of our experts, contact NASW Public Relations Manager Greg Wright at