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Joining Forces Joining Families, Fall 2021

The focus of this issue of JFJF is on the clinical treatment of perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV). In our highlighted interview, Chris Murphy, Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a subject matter expert on this topic, shares his experiences on the origins and development of IPV perpetrator treatment. A key part of Dr. Murphy’s approach to treatment is the recognition of the importance of trauma-informed care (TIC). Both perpetrators and victims of IPV can have a history of significant traumatic events that affect many aspects of their lives. As background to Dr. Murphy’s interview, we describe TIC as it has developed in assisting children and adults with a history of traumatic experiences. Our statistics article, Building Bridges to Research, describes the concept of validity as it applies to the development of two instruments that Dr. Murphy noted are used in clinical practice: the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (SARA) and the Danger Assessment (DA). The SARA estimates the risk of spousal aggression; the DA estimates the risk of femicide. Why is it important to discuss the validity of these instruments? They are used to estimate risk. The user of these instruments should have knowledge of how they were developed and how much confidence to have in the results of their use. Finally, our Websites of Interest page presents resources for information about trauma, trauma and violence, trauma-informed care, and understanding trauma in children.