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.


  • Theoretical Approaches to Interpersonal Violence Across the Life Course (3 credits)
  • Two of the following are required:
    • Addressing & Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Practice (3 credits)
    • Child Maltreatment Prevention (3 credits)
    • International Child Welfare (3 credits)
    • Intervention Approaches to Address Gender-Based Violence (3 credits)
    • Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents (3 credits)


The VIP specialization requires 120 hours of VIP-related tasks during the concentration practicum.

Sample VIP practicum sites include:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trauma Response Program
  • Washington University Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention
  • Safe Connections
  • St. Louis Crisis Nursery
  • Healing Action
Melissa Jonson-Reid

Specialization Chair

Melissa Jonson-Reid is the Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work and the director of an NICHD-funded Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy, Research and Training. Her research focuses on child maltreatment, with a practice background in child welfare and violence against women services. She also serves as the Associate Dean for Transdisciplinary Faculty Affairs.


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.”