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SWSP3043 Interpersonal, Family and Structural Violence

Level: 300 level core unit
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: None
Mode(s) of delivery: Online
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

Violence against women is widespread. Globally, one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Cutting across class, ethnicity, age, culture and religion, intimate partner violence disproportionately affects women and children. Globally, 95% of perpetrators of domestic homicide are male. This unit aims to deepen students’ knowledge of intimate partner violence and structural violence through theory and practice, research, policy, law, with particular reference to the relevance of intersectionality. The focus will be the complex, interlinked experiences of domestic violence and sexual assault in the everyday lives of people and communities facing multiple challenges and barriers to service provision. The unit provides students with essential competencies to work as social workers with survivors and perpetrators of intimate partner violence as well as greater understandings of how domestic violence and sexual assault is produced within systemic, structural and cultural contexts.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the definitions, prevalence, underlying causes, tactics and impacts of intimate partner violence on those affected,
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how intimate partner violence is shaped by social and cultural values, and how a person’s identity (gender, age, socio-economic status, etc.) can produce different experiences of violence, vulnerability, and “help seeking”,
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of, and critically evaluate, the different roles and responsibilities of civil society (NGOs), the judiciary, the government and the community in the prevention of, and responses to, intimate partner violence,
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the some of the key considerations for social workers in supporting survivors and working with perpetrators of intimate partner violence.

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit is taught over 12 weeks and totals 3 student contact hours per week.

 Students will participate in teaching and learning activities:

a)     Lectures and critical discussion

b)     Tutorials and skill development activities

c)     Online pre-learning activities

d)     Online post-learning

 Depending on the delivery mode, this unit’s content is delivered to students via

  • A weekly 3 hour learning session [via Zoom]. One hour will didactive material delivered in lecture format. Two hours will be interactive class time, for discussion of the lecture, readings, assessments and class activities.

 In addition to timetabled contact hours, students are expect to do at least 6 hours of personal study each week to review lectures and read prescribed and recommended materials for this unit. The total individual workload of this unit will be around 9 hours per week (including teamwork on group assignments, writing assessments and reading).



There is no set text book for this unit, however a required reading list of academic journal articles and book chapters are located on your Moodle class space.


As per the prescribed readings, please refer to your readings list located on your Moodle class space.


  • Australian Social Work
  • Child & Family Social Work
  • Children and Youth Services Review
  • Feminist Review
  • International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies
  • International Social Work
  • Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues
  • Journal of Family Studies
  • Journal of Gender-based Violence
  • Journal of Interpersonal Violence
  • Journal of Social Work (UK)
  • Journal of Social Work Education (USA)
  • Journal of Women’s Health, Issues and Care
  • No to Violence
  • Violence Against Women


Academic Misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the trimester. For a list of required textbooks for the upcoming trimester, please click here.