What the Evidence Says: Intimate Partner Violence and Home Visiting

Publication Date: October 16, 2020
This is the cover of What the Evidence Says: Intimate Partner Violence and Home Visiting

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Home visiting services geared toward pregnant women and families with young children offer an opportunity to intervene and support mothers at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). In theory, effective services might reduce the incidence of IPV and thereby reduce the likelihood that children witness family violence. However, we know very little about the effectiveness of home visiting in reducing IPV outcomes.


In this brief, the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) project summarized the IPV findings from research on home visiting models HomVEE has classified as “evidence-based” according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) criteria.

Key Findings and Highlights

The HomVEE study team identified 14 well-designed studies of evidence-based home visiting models that have examined outcomes related to IPV. These studies related to 4 different models: Early Start, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership and Healthy Steps. HomVEE’s review found statistically significant favorable effects on outcomes in 3 studies, examining 2 evidence-based models. The remaining studies found no effect on IPV. Taken together, the HomVEE team concluded that limited evidence exists that the reviewed home visiting models effectively reduce the occurrence of IPV.


HomVEE special topic reviews consist of the same core steps as the HomVEE annual review: study search and screening, study reviews, and synthesis of evidence. The special topic reviews focus solely on research from evidence-based home visiting models. Among the evidence-based models that HomVEE has already identified, this brief focuses on “well-designed” effectiveness studies. The team identified and examined key characteristics of these studies including: population served, duration of intervention, and timing of follow-up.


Niland, K., Zukiewicz, M., & Sama-Miller, E. (2020). “What the Evidence Says: Intimate Partner Violence and Home Visiting.” OPRE Report #2020-19. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S Department of Health and Human Services

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