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How to Address Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking at the Community Level

We lead efforts to help community health care centers and domestic violence programs address intimate partner violence (IPV) and human trafficking.

IPV Toolkit

The toolkit we helped develop, gives HRSA grantees the tools to identify and respond to IPV.

From 2014-2016, 10 community health centers and 10 domestic violence advocacy organizations formed partnerships and developed strategies to:

  • Talk with patients about IPV and healthy relationships.
  • Use evidence-based interventions to help survivors of IPV.
  • Refer survivors to domestic violence advocacy organizations and community health centers.
  • Partner with domestic violence advocacy organizations to ensure care is patient-centered.

How can your health center respond to IPV?

Follow these five steps:

  1. Partner HRSA Exit Disclaimer Build partnerships with community-based domestic violence/sexual assault (DV/SA) programs to help your healthcare setting provide trauma-informed and responsive care for survivors
  2. Prepare HRSA Exit Disclaimer Create buy-in for a DV/SA program and write a new or updated DV/SA policy  
  3. Adopt HRSA Exit Disclaimer Adopt the evidence-based intervention to provide confidential education to all patients
  4. Train HRSA Exit Disclaimer Promote team-based care by training the entire healthcare setting on the impact of DV/SA on health outcomes
  5. Evaluate HRSA Exit Disclaimer Include IPV in quality improvement goals and evaluate the impact that partnerships and education have on health outcomes of patients

Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst helps improve responses and advance policy for IPV and human trafficking in community health centers and domestic violence programs.

Which organizations participate?

State teams include leaders from state primary care associations, state health departments, and state domestic violence coalitions.

Phase One (2017-18) Participants

  • Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Arkansas Department of Public Health, Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc.
  • Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Community Health Center Association of Connecticut
  • Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Idaho Department of Public Health, Idaho Primary Care Association
  • Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Primary Care Association

Phase Two (2018-19) Participants

  • Violence Free Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Community Health Network
  • Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence, Pacific Islands Primary Care Association, Guam Department of Public Health & Social Services
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, North Carolina Community Health Center Association

Phase Three (2019-20) Participants

  • Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Primary Care Association
  • Violence Free Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers
  • Ohio Domestic Violence Network; Ohio Department of Health; Ohio Association of Community Health Centers

How do the teams work together?

To address IPV and human trafficking, state teams:

  • Use training curricula, health care provider resources, patient education materials, and quality improvement tools.
  • Form partnerships between community health centers and domestic violence programs.
  • Make new policy level changes across the health care delivery system.
  • Train community health centers to educate all patients.
  • Engage at least 50% of the HRSA-funded health centers in their state or territory by the end of the project period.

What is Project Catalyst’s impact so far?

  • All health centers that completed follow up assessments reported having a policy in place to see patients alone. This is a key practice to provide privacy and confidentiality for survivors.
  • 95% of trained providers reported an increased understanding about the impact of IPV and human trafficking on health.
  • Three months after training, providers reported they were almost three times more likely to refer patients to their domestic violence agency partners.

We will continue to update our evaluation results.

Our Partners

We partnered with the Administration on Children & Families (ACF) and Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) HRSA Exit Disclaimer on the IPV toolkit and Project Catalyst. The University of Pittsburgh HRSA Exit Disclaimer conducts evaluations for Project Catalyst.

Date Last Reviewed:  June 2020


OWH at a Glance

Get Help

Are you or someone you know experiencing human trafficking or IPV?

National Human Trafficking Hotline HRSA Exit Disclaimer
Free | 24/7 | Confidential
Call: 888-373-7888
Text: 233733 (BEFREE) or use TTY: 711

National Domestic Violence Hotline HRSA Exit Disclaimer
Free | 24/7 | Confidential
Call or Text: 800-799-7233 or
800-787-3224 (TTY)
Spanish chat 1-7 p.m. ET

Note: Providers can also call this hotline for treatment guidance.