Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 521–535 | Cite as

An Exploratory Framework for Community-Led Research to Address Intimate Partner Violence: a Case Study of the Survivor-Centered Advocacy Project

  • Susan GhanbarpourEmail author
  • Ada Palotai
  • Mimi E. Kim
  • Aracelia Aguilar
  • Juana Flores
  • Amber Hodson
  • Tara Holcomb
  • Maria Jimenez
  • Mallika Kaur
  • Orchid Pusey
  • Alvina Rosales
  • Wendy Schlater
  • Hyejin Shim
Original Article


This case study discusses the Survivor-Centered Advocacy (SCA) Project, a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project that convened anti-violence advocates from culturally specific communities to design and implement research. The project used a unique approach to build grassroots research capacity and center survivors of intimate partner violence from historically marginalized communities. This approach coalesced into the creation of an exploratory Community-Led Research (CLR) framework that incorporated trauma-informed, research justice and language justice principles. The CLR framework responded to community members’ desire to lead, rather than simply participate in, the research process. As a result, five studies were designed and executed by practitioners turned community-based researchers, most of whom had never before engaged in research, except as subjects. The CLR framework integrated the skills and experiences of community-based and external researchers, and led to high levels of engagement, rich data, more equitable research processes and innovative research projects.


Community-based participatory research Community-led research Research justice Language justice Survivor-centered advocacy Domestic violence Intimate partner violence Family violence Culturally responsive Culturally specific 



The SCA Project was supported by Grant Number 90EV0430 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Blue Shield of California Foundation; and the NoVo Foundation. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of any of the abovementioned entities. We are grateful to and acknowledge the contributions of Trilce Santana and Florencia Manovil – Spanish-English interpreters and translators and members of a Bay Area language justice collective – who worked with us extensively throughout the SCA project, and who first introduced us to the term and concept of “language justice.” Lastly, a special thank you to API-GBV staff member, Biney Kaur Dev, who contributed much to the preparation of this manuscript and to the SCA Project overall.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Ghanbarpour
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ada Palotai
    • 2
  • Mimi E. Kim
    • 3
  • Aracelia Aguilar
    • 4
  • Juana Flores
    • 5
  • Amber Hodson
    • 4
  • Tara Holcomb
    • 4
  • Maria Jimenez
    • 5
  • Mallika Kaur
    • 6
  • Orchid Pusey
    • 7
  • Alvina Rosales
    • 8
  • Wendy Schlater
    • 9
  • Hyejin Shim
    • 10
  1. 1.Independent ConsultantSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based ViolenceOaklandUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkCalifornia State University, Long BeachLong BeachUSA
  4. 4.DeafHopeOaklandUSA
  5. 5.Mujeres Unidas y ActivasSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.Sikh Family CenterSan CarlosUSA
  7. 7.Asian Women’s ShelterSan FranciscoUSA
  8. 8.Children’s Hospital of Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  9. 9.Avellaka Program of La Jolla Band of Luiseño IndiansLa JollaUSA
  10. 10.Queer and Trans Koreans Yearning for Unity and Liberation (QYUL), the Queer and Trans Workgroup of the Korean American Coalition to End Domestic AbuseEl CerritoUSA

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