Violence and Injury Prevention specialization | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Violence and Injury Prevention Specialization

Students engage at both the clinical and macro levels on issues of interpersonal violence, including child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, youth violence and suicide.

This specialization is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the overlapping and interdisciplinary nature of interpersonal violence.

 Students will understand the complex relationship between forms of violence, as well as gain a systems-based perspective that addresses the role of families, communities, policies, and resource disparities in violence.

Specialization Requirements: 21 Credits

  • Intimate Partner Violence: Theories, Problems and Issues (3 credits) or Theoretical Approaches to Interpersonal Violence Across the Life Course (3 credits)
  • Three credits of policy-focused coursework
  • Nine credits of practice-focused coursework
  • Leadership and Management of Organizations (3 credits) or Human Service Organizations: Theory, Concepts and Issues (3 credits) 
  • Social Policy Analysis and Evaluation (3 credits)or Evaluation of Programs and Services (3 credits)

Your practice methods courses will be selected from a list of classes including, but not limited to:

  • Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees
  • Intervention Approaches with Women
  • Criminal Justice Involved Adults
  • Social Work Practice with LGBT Populations
  • Prevention & Promotion to Support Health Development Among At Risk Families and Communities
  • Sexual Health Across the Life Course
  • Sex Trafficking
  • Protection of Women and Children in Humanitarian Response

Your policy class will be picked from a list including:

  • American Indian/Alaska Native Social Welfare Policies and Administrative Practices
  • Policy and Services for Children and Youth
  • Regulating Sex: Historical and Cultural Encounters
  • Women's Issues: Social Welfare and Social Work

You will also have 9 elective credits, which can be used to broaden your expertise through courses such as:

  • Theoretical and Empirical Bases for Practice with Children, Youth and Families (3 credits)
  • Special Topics in Mental and Behavioral Healthcare (3 credits)

Specialization Practicum

The MSW program requires 600 hours of specialization practicum (in addition to 360 hours of foundation practicum). The specialzation practicum must take place in a setting related to violence and injury prevention.

Sample VIP practicum sites include:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trauma Response Program
  • Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Safe Connections
  • St. Louis Crisis Nursery
  • Healing Action
  • Washington University Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention

Melissa Jonson-Reid

Specialization Chair

Melissa Jonson-Reid is the Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work and the director of the School’s Center for Violence and Injury Prevention. Her research focuses on child maltreatment, with a practice background in child welfare and violence against women services.

April Houston

Featured Graduate

"I chose the Brown School to focus on international human rights and social justice issues, especially those related to women's rights and conflict-related sexual violence. I was hired by CARE to work on its sexual and reproductive health and rights team, a dream position which allows me to make the world a better place for girls and women.”

—April Houston, MSW/MPH ’17
Senior Program Officer, Care