Amber Sutton

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Auburn University, Montgomery
Chapter Member: Alabama SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Amber

Sutton's research focuses on understanding the link between COVID-19, intimate partner violence, and intimate femicide for women in Alabama. Other research interests include reproductive coercion, protections for pets, trauma-informed education and management, and rural communities. As a licensed independent clinical social worker, Sutton has 10 years of experience working with survivors of IPV and their families in residential services, prevention education, the legal system, and as a telehealth provider. She worked as a Director for a domestic and sexual violence agency, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) as well as Tuscaloosa's Trauma Systems Therapy team and is currently a program evaluator for Tuscaloosa's One Place. A survivor herself, Sutton utilizes feminist praxis and intersectional feminist research to identify, improve, and support micro, mezzo, and macro-level responses to fellow survivors of violence.



"Parenting, Privilege, and Pandemic: From Surviving to Thriving as a Mother in the Academy" Qualitative Social Work 20, no. 2 (2021).

Provides insight into unique obstacles from the perspective of mothers, researchers, and social workers and challenges the traditional models of work/life balance as professionals in academics. 

"Designing and Teaching an Anti-Violence Course in the Year 2020: Navigating the Pandemic, Protests, and Politics" Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping 27, no. 2 (2021).

Shares an intimate glimpse into my role as an educator responsible for designing and teaching an anti-violence course to graduate-level social work students during unprecedented times.

"Preparing Mental Health Professionals To Work With Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of the Literature" (with Haley Beech and Debra Nelson-Gardell). Journal of Women and Social Work. 36, no. 3 (2020).

Mentions intimate partner violence (IPV) affects millions of individuals across all demographics and ethnicities. Reveals a direct link between experiencing IPV and having adverse physical, mental, and financial outcomes which can create difficulties for survivors.

"Preliminary Lessons Learned From Facilitating Group a Case Study in an Alabama Correctional Facility in the Era of COVID-19" (with Haley H Beech and Carol Potok). International Social Work 63, no. 5 (2020).

Offers a glimpse into implementing and facilitating a 6-week psychoeducational health group inside a women’s correctional facility. Uses a case study example, this essay discusses conceptualization, interagency collaboration, and lessons learned in the field. 

""Give Me Proof": A Covert but Coercive Form of Non-Partner Sexual Violence Contributing to Teen Pregnancy in Haiti and Opportunities for Mental Health Intervention" (with Guitele J. Rahill, Manisha Joshi, Caron Zlotnick, Sabine Lamour, Haley Beech, Cameron Burris, and Phycien Paul). Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 29, no. 6 (2020).

Explores non-partner sexual violence as a contributing factor to teen pregnancy rates in Haiti.

"Intimate Partner Violence and Reproductive Coercion" (with Haley H. Beech and Debra Nelson-Gardell). Encyclopedia of Social Work (2020).

Examines reproductive coercion in the context of intimate partner violence from an intersectional framework. Provides recommendations for practice and policy.

"Advocating for Self-Determination, Arriving at Safety: How Social Workers Can Address Ethical Dilemmas in Intimate Partner Violence" (with Catherine Carlson), in The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Ethics and Values, edited by Stephen M. Marson and Robert E. McKinney, Jr. (London: Routledge, 2019).

Focuses on helping practitioners solve ethical dilemmas when working with clients impacted by domestic violence.

"Safety Planning with Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation" (with Abby Howard), in Social Work Practice with Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation, edited by Andrea J. Nichols, Tonya Edmond, and Erin C. Heil (New York: Columbia University Press, April 2018), 33-50.

Covers specific strategies for Safety Planning with Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Uses literature from the intimate partner violence field. Adapts assessments and survivor-centered approaches to increase safety for both clients and service responders.