In order for Presenter Materials and corresponding Learner Materials to receive TEPA Accreditation, materials must meet all 15 Approval Criteria for Presenter Qualifications, Statements of Scientific Fact, and Other Criteria:
A. Presenter Qualifications:
1. The qualifications (i.e., education, training, and relevant experience) of the person(s) who presents the TEPA program must be consistent with the title and target audience of the program. For example, a talk on “Prosecution for Allegations of Intimate Partner Harrassment” would be presented by an attorney with prosecutorial experience and expertise. (Note: Some Learner Materials are designed to be used as stand-alone fact sheets or web-based informational pages. In such cases, the Presenter Qualifications are not applicable.)
B. Statements of Scientific Fact (An example of a statement of scientific fact is, “Twelve per cent of young couples experience intimate partner aggression each year.” In contrast, a sentence such as “Abusers should be held accountable for their actions” is a self-evident statement and does not require documentation.):
2. All statements of scientific fact must be supported by a complete reference to the original study, including the page number. The complete reference must be contained in the Presenter Materials and the Learner Materials so the reader can verify the information. (Note: The TEPA Accreditation application must provide a URL to the source document, or provide a copy of the source document.)
3. All statements about the nature and extent of domestic violence must be based on, or be consistent with, findings from surveys conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:
- Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System[i] – Students in grades 9-12
- National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health[ii] – Persons 18-28 years old
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System[iii] (module for intimate partner aggression occurring in the prior 12 months) – Adults
4. All statements about the causes of domestic violence must be reflective of the range of risk factors for intimate partner violence identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.[iv] An example of a statement that would meet this criterion is, “There are many causes of domestic violence, including alcohol or drug abuse, unemployment, and marital conflict.” An example of a statement that would not meet this criterion is, “Domestic violence is all about power and control.”
5. All statements of scientific fact based on crime surveys or crime statistics must clearly indicate the limitations of such surveys. An example of a qualifying statement that would meet this criterion is this Department of Justice warning about its National Crime Victimization Survey, “Violence between intimates is difficult to measure — because it often occurs in private, and victims are often reluctant to report incidents to anyone because of shame or fear of reprisal.”[v]
6. All statements of scientific fact must accurately represent the conclusion of the original study.
7. If an ongoing survey is referenced, statements of scientific fact must cite the most recent version of the survey. For example, a statement based on the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System must reference the 2007 survey, not just the 2003 survey.
8. All statements of scientific fact must be consistent with key limitations of the original study. For example:
- If the original research only surveyed shelter residents, the conclusion cannot be generalized to the population as a whole.
- If the original research only surveyed female victims, the document must recognize that limitation and attempt to identify similar research that surveyed male victims.
9. All statements of scientific fact must avoid vague, confusing, or inflammatory wording, or language that stereotypes any group as abusers or victims.
10. Statements of scientific fact should not be presented as opinions, attitudes, or emotions, e.g., “Some persons believe that…” and “Many persons feel that…”
11. In general, statements of scientific fact should come from peer-reviewed journals, governmental documents, or credible media reports.
12. Conclusions and recommendations must follow logically and reasonably from the statements of scientific fact.
C. Other Criteria:
13. Pronouns must be gender-inclusive (“he or she”) or gender-neutral (“they”), unless they are referring to a specific designated individual.
14. Examples, images, and representations (drawings, photographs, etc.) must not stereotype any group as abusers or victims.
15. In the absence of a judicial finding under criminal law, the suspect must be referred to as the “alleged” abuser, the “accused” offender, or other similar wording.
The Learner Material, “Seven Key Facts about Domestic Violence”[vi] is an example of a fact sheet that meets these criteria.
[ii] Whitaker DJ et al. Differences in frequency of violence and reported injury between relationships with reciprocal and nonreciprocal intimate partner violence. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 97, No. 5, 2007.