Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Amy Naugle

Second Advisor

Tabitha DiBacco

Third Advisor

Cassandra Dukes


Every year, an estimated 10 million people experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in the United States (Huecker et al., 2021). The long-term implications of surviving IPV can be debilitating and limited community resources influence the likeliness of physical and psychological recovery. Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a set of practices that may produce improvements in the quality of life for IPV survivors. There are a variety of definitions of TIC and empowerment, which may serve as a barrier to implementing these practices. The present study examined employee and volunteer perceptions of trauma-informed practices and empowerment at a domestic violence agency. The four most commonly identified themes of TIC were awareness of the impacts of trauma, avoiding re-traumatizing, being understanding, and providing individualized services. Common themes identified in empowerment included the program being strengths-based, promoting autonomy, and providing choices. Descriptive analyses indicated the agency was implement these practices some of the time, indicating opportunity for improved consistency. Future directions of research on TIC and empowerment should emphasize the operationalization of both practices and individualizing improvement at the agency level to increase staff consistency.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Thesis Defense Powerpoint.pdf (373 kB)
Defense Presentation