Personal interactions—whether between strangers, friends, family members, or intimate partners—often involve conflicts that create the potential for abuse and violence. While the rate of physical violence is generally consistent between strangers, friends, and intimate partners, other forms of aggression are more common as intimacy grows. Disputes between intimate partners that escalate into violence are usually called intimate partner violence (IPV).
IPV abuse—including stalking, physical violence, and sexual violence—is common. About one in four women and one in 10 men report IPV experiences. In addition, one of every three women and one in four men is sexually assaulted in their lifetime. The young are not exempt from IPV, either. In 2020 alone, more than one in four teens and young adults (through age 21) reported abusing a dating partner, psychologically, physically, or sexually. These, and other abusive interactions, lead not only to physical and psychological repercussions for the victim, but also potential economic consequences for them, their families, their communities, and beyond.
NORC’s history of examining interpersonal conflict and violence—including identifying risk factors and protective influences and evaluating the impact of violence prevention programs—runs deep. We have collaborated on new measurement scales while drawing on existing ones to investigate different forms of conflicts, aggression, abuse, and violence on behalf of a variety of clients, including federal agencies. Our innovations include:
- New ways to measure the positive and negative dynamics in dating relationships
- Measures of technology-facilitated abuse
- Attention to young adult experiences outside of the easily studied institutions of higher education
Throughout our research, we investigate both victimization and perpetration, recognizing the critical need to modify the attitudes, behaviors, and coping mechanisms of those who use violence as well as the common overlap of these behaviors in dyadic conflicts.
We are committed to providing data and tools that can be used by a broad range of researchers, clinicians, practitioners, and others to assess the prevalence of interpersonal violence, study its origins, evaluate prevention programs, and provide screening, to reduce violence and its destructive influence.
Our areas of expertise and methods include the following:
Areas of Expertise
- Campus sexual assaults
- Dating violence including teen dating
- Human trafficking
- Intimate partner violence
- Technology-facilitated abuse
- Victim-offender overlap
- Violence against women and children
- Youth violence and resiliency
- Organizational policies for the prevention of and response to aggressive and abusive behaviors
- Community and health networks for the prevention of and response to aggressive and abusive behaviors
- Experimental behavioral interventions
- Integration of multi-sourced datasets
- Longitudinal, nationally representative, epidemiological studies
- Multi-mode data collection
- Process and outcome evaluations
- Saturated social network designs
Clients have included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Violence against Women, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, the Health Resources & Services Administration Office of Women’s Health, and others.
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