Report: A Life Course Framework for Preventing Domestic Violence

Date published: February, 2019 (40 pages)

Domestic violence negatively impacts every community in the United States, affecting one in three women and one in four men, with profound and enduring consequences. In addition, one in five children witnesses parental assault, leading to increased risk of experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence as adults, and continuing the cycle of violence.

Blue Shield of California Foundation launched a new strategic direction in 2018 and deepened its commitment to ending domestic violence with a new prevention and multigenerational mindset. To further our understanding of the root causes of domestic violence and identify prevention pathways, the Foundation commissioned Forward Change, a national strategy consulting firm based in California, to embark on a research and learning process that applies a life course analysis to domestic violence prevention.

A life course analysis is based on the premise that the timing and sequence of biological, psychological, cultural, and historical events and experiences influence the health and development of both individuals and populations. In other words, a life course analysis posits that health is a consequence of multiple determinants and contexts that change as a person develops. This life course analysis focuses on the risk factors leading up to the occurrence of domestic violence rather than the impacts and responses following a domestic violence incident.

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