Intimate partner violence (IPV) and intergenerational transmission of IPV in families are destructive social issues in need of considerable attention. Knowledge of the multi-level, complex causes, and consequences of IPV in the United States has increased significantly over the last two decades. Given these gains in learning, the authors’ aim here is to highlight recent critical and emerging theoretical perspectives on IPV. Frameworks included for application are intersectionality theory, historical trauma and decolonization, human rights, constructivist self-development theory, the posttraumatic growth paradigm, and adverse childhood experiences. This discussion will help to illuminate the dynamics of IPV that are actionable by practitioners using frameworks that promote cultural sensitivity, inclusion, and strengths-based practice with diverse populations. The authors discuss the scope of IPV while focusing on critical vulnerable people and exploring issues of relative privilege and oppression. Next, the authors review the historical body of theory informing understandings of IPV, and emerging theoretical frameworks on IPV. We offer conclusions throughout as they relate to the application of highlighted theories to IPV.
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