The University of Colorado at Denver began the nation’s first graduate degree program in domestic violence administration at its School of Public Affairs in 2000, says Women’s eNews. Since the program launched, it has graduated 47 students with master’s degrees in administration; many are domestic violence survivors. The existence of an advanced degree program specializing in domestic violence suggests the extent to which a decades-old grassroots movement to provide public shelter for people from danger in private lives has begun to acquire the earmarks of an established profession.
Many domestic violence organizations that started in the 1970s survived, grew, and are celebrating their 30th anniversaries. Today, there are over 2,000 shelter and service programs. The movement saw dramatic change in 1994 when Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act, and federal money became available for domestic violence organizations. Staffs increased from 4 to 10 and budgets from $200,000 to $800,000. Other colleges and universities offer minors and courses in family violence prevention, often in education, social science, or women’s studies departments. The University of Southern Florida in Tampa offers a “Violence and Injury: Prevention and Intervention” certificate. Sociology students at Virginia Commonwealth University can earn a certificate in gender violence intervention. The University of Central Florida offers a graduate certificate in domestic violence.