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CFACE Highlight: Recent Publication

We are excited to highlight the recent publication “Family and Community Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence: Restorative Programs in the United States.” Dr. Joan Pennell, our founding director, is the lead author of this article published in Violence Against Women. Now through November 14, 2020, the article will be free for public access and download. Make sure to download this newly published research publication while it is available!  

This article considers restorative approaches as an alternative to conventional legal interventions to address intimate partner violence as detailed in the abstract:

Now is the time to rethink reliance on legal intervention to end intimate

partner violence (IPV). Arrest, incarceration, and family separation have fallen

disproportionately on people who are Black or Brown, impoverished,  immigrant, or

lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ). Restorative approaches bring

together the persons harmed, persons causing harm, their family or community

networks, or combinations of these stakeholders. Based on a U.S. national study,

this article examines: What influences programs to adopt a restorative approach to

ending IPV? How do programs safeguard their original vision for social change? What

principles guide the programs in carrying out their work in safe and productive ways?

This study systematically compares the work of 15 programs employing restorative approaches to IPV through the formats of family group conferencing (FGC) and peacemaking circles (PMC). After conducting a cross-case comparison, Dr. Pennell and her coauthors provide insights around adopting the FGC or PMC formats and highlight common and divergent methods for safe and productive implementation.

Dr. Joan Pennell continues to demonstrate her dedication to research and service through her ongoing contributions to academic inquiry and community service. She is a Professor Emerita of Social Work at North Carolina State University. She became the founding director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement in 2008, a role in which she served until her retirement in 2018. Dr. Pennell remains involved with the Center and the University. More information on her background, research, and current projects can be found on her faculty biography page.  


Pennell, J., Burford, G., Sasson, E., Packer, H., & Smith, E. L. (2020). Family and community approaches to intimate partner violence: Restorative programs in the United States. Violence Against Women, 1-22. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1077801220945030