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Master of Arts




Scott, Katreena


This research aimed to identify the competencies required of intimate partner violence (IPV) specialists to effectively manage risk posed by male perpetrators of violence. Two methods were utilized– a scoping review of existing literature, and semi-structured interviews with 19 experts in the field. Researchers analyzed 140 documents and the transcribed interviews, extracting and compiling excerpts relating to competencies for assessing and managing risk and safety. Reflexive thematic analysis and methodological data triangulation were used to identify and compare competencies derived from literature and practice-based knowledge. Triangulation revealed overlap for themes of knowledge about IPV, promoting safety, assessing risk, collaborating with others, and creating a safe space. Self-regulation competencies were limited to the literature. Interviews captured greater detail, and identified competencies regarding the IPV specialist’s role, addressing identified safety concerns, working with male perpetrators, and effective risk assessment. Results support the value experiential knowledge can provide to our understanding of IPV competencies.

Summary for Lay Audience

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive issue through society and providing care to those affected requires specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes. There are many different areas of care that need to be considered to ensure those impacted by IPV are receiving adequate and effective care. This research addressed one of those areas – risk assessment and management with men who have perpetrated violence. Researchers examined current literature and interviewed experts within the field to determine what competencies are needed of specialists to provide comprehensive and effective care. Each source of information was examined individually first, and then the two were compared and contrasted to determine similarities and differences in the knowledge, skills and attitudes discussed. Majority of the information in the literature overlapped with the interviews with experts but not vice versa. Overall it was found that the competencies required of IPV specialists working with male perpetrators included having a foundational understanding of IPV and IPV theories, knowing of risk and protective factors, prioritizing the safety of vulnerable individuals including survivors, considering the impact of care on survivors and children, collaborating with other professionals to provide comprehensive care, regulating their own reactions while providing care, gathering information from multiple sources, assessing and addressing the needs of the service user, possessing knowledge, skills, and attitudes specific to working with perpetrators and being able to conduct a thorough risk assessment. A major finding of this research was the difference in information obtained from the literature compared to interviews such that the information from experts was more comprehensive and specific to working with perpetrators. This research demonstrated the value of practice-based knowledge in building a comprehensive understanding of IPV care when working with perpetrators and the importance of conducting specific research aimed at understanding this area better.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.