Maecenas a quameu

A Quick Guide to the 2008 “Think Tank” and the
 National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV)

The American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships: Connecting Agendas and Forging New Directions heldon February 28-29, 2008, was an APA interdivisional response to recognized gaps and issues preventing advancement in the field of interpersonal violence.  A major issue is that we still remain at a similar level with respect to setting the ending of interpersonal violence as a national priority as we were over 20 years ago. From the summit, the think tank was born (first meeting was in September, 2008). Bob Geffner, Ph.D. (APA’s Div. 56 President at the time, and President, IVAT at Alliant International University), Jackie White, Ph.D. (APA’s Div. 35 President at the time, and Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and Alan Kazdin, Ph.D. (APA President at the time, and Professor, Yale University) were the major facilitators of the Summit, and Jackie White and Bob Geffner, co-chaired the Think Tank. Numerous APA divisions and national organizations were collaborators for the summit, and several more organizations joined the think tank.

The think tank’s goals were to:

  • Identify gaps and issues facing the field of interpersonal violence prevention
  • Develop a blueprint for action for one, three, and five years.
    • Key was integration: integration of fields; integration of research, practice and policy; integration of organizations; and integration of types of violence
  • Develop format for a 2010 Spring conference, set dates for upcoming meetings
  • Begin to develop the infra-structure and committees for a National Partnership
  • Produce special journal issues and publications

Needs identified:

  • Need one, overarching group to create a cohesiveness necessary to embrace a national, multidisciplinary commitment to ending interpersonal violence across the lifespan –  a “United we stand, divided we fall” approach
  • Need a public commitment
  • Public policy should reflect funding at all levels
  • Voices of those affected must be included
  • Develop a culturally sensitive approach to ending interpersonal violence, based in a community context

Who are the members of the think tank?

  • Researchers, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, consumers, and funders
  • Members of the APA divisions, national and grassroots organizations, universities, etc. (a detailed list of participants is available upon request)

First initial meeting held at the 13th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego, Sept. 12-13, 2008, and focused on several major areas:


  • Public Awareness
  • Training/Mentoring
  • Practice
  • Research
  • Funding/Development
  • Public Policy Changes
  • Community Action/Capacity Building

These areas focused on the following types of interpersonal violence:  Child Maltreatment, Children Exposed to Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, Teen/Youth Violence, Elder Abuse, Diverse Populations, and Community Violence.
A second meeting was held January, 2009 in New Orleans, LA at the APA Multicultural Summit.
What was accomplished?

  • The summit in Dallas, TX was confirmed,  February 24-26, 2010 with a working title: Summit on Interpersonal Violence and Abuse across the Lifespan: Forging a Shared Agenda
  • The summit will be the fourth meeting of the Think Tank and will be used to facilitate networking; communication and “breaking down the barriers” among “types” of violence are key, as well as confronting controversies and holding difficult dialogues.
  • The aim will be to integrate science, service, and policy across the different focus areas
  • The structure of the summit is beginning to come together, and Think Tank members are now signing up for committees
  • An online community website has been set up for the National Partnership and Summit

What is going on now?

  • The think tank is now merged into and known as the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV)
  • This national partnership will be a major influence against interpersonal violence across the lifespan. Planning is in process for the next 2 meetings and development of the infrastructure
  • Interpersonal violence as a field needs national recognition; victims of such violence continue, but the field has not progressed significantly from a national priority perspective
  • Need strategies for logos, name, funding – needs to be dynamic and energetic
  • Next Planning meeting
    • September 21-26, at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse & Trauma (follow up think tank meeting on Sept. 21-22, 2009 in San Diego)
    • 4th meeting will be at the Summit on Interpersonal Violence,  in Dallas,  Feb 24-26, 2010
  • Funding will be difficult in this economy and is the biggest obstacle, but there has been ample brainstorming to determine creative ways to develop these into tangible financial opportunities.
  • Keeping a central focus on technology and dissemination: online networking sites, podcasts, and e-bulletins.

What does this mean for planning now?

  • The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) at Alliant International University  will assist and help be the logistical support for the NPEIV for the time being – Kori Ryan and Sandi Morrison will play a role in the development of the think tank; research assistants and volunteers will be utilized for logistical support, fund development, outreach, and information gathering
  • IVAT is the fiscal agent for now – grants and funding will go to IVAT to be used for the NPEIV meetings and development until it becomes its own entity; IVAT is a nonprofit component of the university.  A Fiscal Oversight Committee has been appointed, chaired by Alan Kazdin 
  • The NPEIV goals will lead to integration and advancement of the fields
  • Planning for the September think tank meeting and conference
  • Drs. Bob Geffner, Jackie White and Alan Kazdin will remain as the co-facilitators of the NPEIV
  • NEIV has a goal of being in the forefront for policy, research, and practice in these fields

As can be seen, the National Partnership is still in its early planning stages. There are still many questions to be answered and details to be ironed out. However, it is moving forward with additional partnering agencies and organizations (now over 50), and with major plans for funding, expansion, and influence. Committees are being formed for the infrastructure and for the 2010 Summit. During the coming year, concrete steps for completing the 3-5 year Blueprint for Action will be formulated and implemented, and a more definitive infra-structure will be developed.

For further information about joining, please contact Kori Ryan at (858) 527-1860 x 4310.

Supporting Documents:

EDITORIAL
Call to Action: Reducing Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan
Nancy Felipe Russo, PhD
Arizona State University
Russo Editorial PDF

National and Global Agendas on Violence Against Women:
Historical Perspective and Consensus

Mary P. Koss, PhD
University of Arizona
Jacquelyn W. White, PhD
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
NPEIV Historical Perspective PDF

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