Responding to Interpersonal Violence Course

Sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and other forms of oppression impact the students and professionals in the healthcare field. VPVA collaborated with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to create the non-credit elective course, “Responding to Interpersonal Violence.” By joining a session, students will gain practice in addressing barriers to intervening in harmful or problematic situations that may present during medical observations and learn to advocate for their peers and patients in a trauma-informed manner. Overall, this course will provide students with a deeper understanding to the root causes and dynamics of intimate partner violence and sexual violence and complement knowledge gained from patient-centered coursework.

While this course was created for RWJMS medical students (and these students will receive non-credit elective acknowledgement), RBHS students from other schools may attend to further their professional development.

Goals for sessions of this course:

Patient care

Explain the value in screening patients for history of sexual violence or intimate partner violence and addressing patients through best practices of trauma-informed approach.

Medical knowledge

Acquire and understand short-term and long-term health effects of sexual violence and intimate partner violence and build knowledge of prevalence and continuum of behaviors that and beliefs that allow violence.

Practice-based learning and improvement

Identify scenarios of potential harmful or problematic situations that students may experience professionally and academically and apply methods of safe and skill-based intervention.

Interpersonal and communication skills

Practice advocating for patient needs, individual needs, and community needs through challenging discriminatory or harassing behaviors, displaying support for survivors, and establishing a culture of respect.


Previous training sessions include: Identifying signs of Human Trafficking in Healthcare, Handling Patient Disclosures of Abuse, Trauma-Informed Screenings for Interpersonal Violence, Neurobiology of Trauma


Stay tuned for the schedule for 2023-2024 sessions!

Have questions? Reach out to our Education & Programming Coordinator, Kayla Craig, at