WINGS Implementation Manual  



Intimate partner violence (IPV and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV) disproportionately affect women who use drugs (WWUD). WINGS is an evidence-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment service tool that is designed to identify different types of IPV and GBV among WWUD, enable them to develop safety planning strategies, strengthen their social support network and identify and access different services to reduce their risks for experiencing GBV, WINGS can be delivered in  1o 2 sessions and has been integrated with HIV counseling and testing and linkage to HIV treatment interventions. WINGS may be delivered by a helping professional or peer advocate with sufficient training.  There is also a  computerized self-paced model of WINGS available  that was found to be equally effective.  Although WINGS was initially developed for WWUD in NYC, it has been adapted for women in Kyrgyzstan and India. WINGS has also been adapted for women who engage in sex work.

WINGS Core Components: 

  1. Raising awareness about different types of IPV that WWUD are at risk of experiencing and how substance misuse may trigger or be triggered by experience of different types of IPV;
  2. Screening to identify different types of IPV women may experiencing or perpetrating and providing individualized feedback for IPV (no, some, high risk),
  3. Eliciting motivation to address IPV and relationship conflict, Safety Planning
  4. Conducting Safety Planning to reduce risks of exposure to IPV,
  5. Enhancing Social Support to address relationship conflict and IPV
  6. Setting goals to improve relationship safety and reduce risk of IPV
  7. Identifying and Prioritizing Service Needs, Linkage to IPV and other Services

These seven Core Elements must be maintained without alteration to ensure fidelity to the intervention and its effectiveness. The computerized self-paced tool of WINGS employs interactive exercises and video testimonials of women and a narrator who leads women through the different session activities. Participants can click an audio button to read the text for each screen.

WINGS may be delivered by a facilitator, counselor, social worker, case manager/case worker, other helping professional or a peer advocate with sufficient training. We developed a computerized self-paced version of WINGS that covers the same core SBIRT components as the facilitator version of WINGS and has been found to be equally effective in identifying different types of IPV, increasing IPV self-efficacy, and increasing social support and access to IPV services.

Before implementing WINGS, we recommend that you complete a one day training on how to deliver the WINGS intervention. To request a WINGS training for your agency, please email  If you are interested in learning more about the science and core components of WINGS, please view recent webinar on WINGS by Dr.Louisa Gilbert at [ hospitalsbirt. webs. com/young-women ]
The Computerized WINGS tool may be viewed on tablets or smart phones.  A free copy of the Computerized WINGS tool may be accessed at:
We do recommend that you complete the 1 day training on WINGS before delivering it in your agency. If you would like to collect or print data from the WINGS tool, you will need to purchase a Qualtrics license. For more information on the WINGS training or computerized WINGS tool, please contact

Adapting WINGS involves customizing delivery of the intervention and ensuring that messages are appropriate for WINGS participants served by your agency or within your community without altering, deleting, or adding to the intervention’s Core Elements. When adapting the intervention, remember to consider the needs of the population to be served, the resources and capabilities of your agency, and the Core Elements of the intervention.

Adaptation refers to the “who,” “what,” “how,” “when,” and “where” of WINGS as it will be implemented at your agency. An example of an adaptation is deciding whether to include a follow up visit for WINGS participants who disclose experiencing IPV to assess their progress in meeting their goals and linking to services. In the original WINGS research, facilitators only met with women for the single WINGS session. However, post-evaluation assessments suggest that some women who are in need of IPV services may benefit from an additional follow-up visit to work through barriers in accessing IPV services or meeting their goals.

Adaptations should not affect the Core Elements of the intervention. Instead, they should enhance delivery of the intervention at your agency, and allow your staff to be creative and to develop ownership of the program.

Below you will find a link to the WINGS Implementation Manual.

WINGS Implementation Manual




Below are some sample video clips from the WINGS computerized tool that are designed to raise awareness of what constitutes intimate partner violence.