Spouse / Partner Abuse > Chapter 1 - Introduction

Spouse / Partner Abuse

Presented by
Lance J. Parks, LCSW


This course is recognized by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
This program is Approved by the the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) (Approval #886463870-6291) for 7 Domestic Violence continuing education contact hours.
This program is approved for 7 continuing education hours by:
The California Board of Registered Nursing # CEP 14462
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) # 886463870
The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling #50-14000
Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists # 628
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors #1646
The Texas Board of Social Worker Examiners # 5547
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) # 6412


Providers who take this course will be able to:

1. Explain the current scope and pervasiveness of Spousal/Partner abuse.
2. Effectively assess for spousal/partner abuse.
3. Apply cultural factors, including those involving same gender partners, in the
    assessment and treatment of spousal/partner abuse.
4. Explain and intervene in the cycle of violence.
5. Partner with victims to create and review a safety plan.
6. Apply appropriate therapeutic interventions for victims of Spousal/Partner Abuse


Spousal/Partner abuse continues to be prevalent in today's society and puts at risk the health of those vulnerable. It can take the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, economic control, isolation and verbal abuse. Over the last few years high profile cases involving celebrities and athletes have brought a greater awareness to the problem. In spite of the growing awareness, the abuse continues to be underreported (Glazer, 1997). Women especially have been on the receiving end of this abuse (85% of victims are women), however, there are cases of women on men abuse, and also same-gender partner abuse (CAGO, 2002).

The following facts from the California Attorney General's Office (2002) show how dangerous and prevalent spousal/partner abuse continues to be:


  • In 2003, 182 murders were the result of intimate partner violence in California. (California Department of Justice [DOJ], Criminal Justice Statistics Center [CJSC])
  • In 2003, 151 women in California were killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends, and 27 men were killed by their wives, ex-wives or girlfriends. (DOJ, CJSC)
  • California law enforcement received 194,288 domestic violence calls in
    2003 -- 106,731 involved weapons, including firearms and knives.See CJSC's caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/misc/dvsr/rpt.pdf,
    Domestic violence-related calls for assistance chart
  • Domestic violence arrests dropped from 52,392 (2001) to 50,479 (2002), and to 48,854 in 2003. (DOJ, CJSC) Arrests for domestic violence chart
  • Every year, almost 6% of California's women suffer physical injuries from domestic violence. (California Women's Health Survey,1998-99).


  • Nearly one-third of all homicides are committed by an intimate partner.
  • Firearms were the major weapon type used in intimate partner homicides from 1981-1998, (Paulozzi, et al. 2001, see www.athealth.com/consumer/disorders/domviol.html)
  • Abuse in relationships exists among all classes, races and cultural groups, although women between ages 16 and 24 are nearly three times more vulnerable to intimate partner violence (Intimate Partner Violence & Age of Victim, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999).
  • A recent National Crime Victimization survey found that women were 6 times more than men to experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, dating partners, regardless of whether they are cohabitating or not. (Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Re-designed Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1998)

Healthcare providers need to learn how to identify abuse through skillful interviewing and assessment techniques. Victims need to know that abuse is never okay and there are resources available to help them. This course will address how to properly and effectively assess for spousal abuse, consider the cultural factors of such abuse, and teach the healthcare provider how to detect such abuse. The dynamics of same-gender partner abuse will also be covered. Finally, intervention strategies for this abuse will be addressed along with a listing of community resources.
Question No.1. Nearly one-third of homicides in the United States are committed by intimate partners:True/False?

a. True
b. False

Question No.2. In what age group are women three times more likely to suffer intimate partner abuse:

a. 16-24
b. 18-26
c. 30-40
d. 41-50
Spouse / Partner Abuse > Chapter 1 - Introduction
Page Last Modified On: June 1, 2017, 10:49 AM