January 20, 2012 — The Centers for Disease Control reported in November that on average, 24 Americans per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, and a third of U.S. women are the victim of these assaults in their lifetimes. A World Health Organization multi-country study found that up to 71 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Against that backdrop, the University of Virginia School of Nursing will host the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International's conference, which will focus on issues related to abuse and exploitation of women, March 4 through 6.
"The School of Nursing's nationally recognized leadership in violence research makes us uniquely effective as facilitators for this interdisciplinary, global collaboration," Dorrie Fontaine, dean of the Nursing School, said. "It is an opportunity to not only showcase the strength of the University's work in intimate partner violence, but to highlight research from around the world that is devoted to an emerging topic that affects women, children and families and their health."
Kathryn Laughon, associate professor of nursing, is one of the conference organizers. "The conference is an opportunity for grass-roots local folks, a mix of health care providers and those working with advocacy organizations to have access to key people doing cutting-edge research in the field of intimate partner violence," she said.
The conference kicks off on March 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Jordan Hall Conference Center with a one-day, pre-conference symposium, "Global Violence Against Women," designed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration dedicated to anti-violence scholarship and policy change and bring together experts from around the world.
In her talk, "E tu tama wahine i te waa o te kore: Maori women stand strong in the time of void," Ngaropi Diane Cameron will address violence throughout life. She is an executive board member and deputy chairperson of Jigsaw, a network of organizations working to stop child abuse, neglect and violence against women in New Zealand.
Natalia V. Lokhmatkina, an academic neurologist who works in the Department of Family Medicine and the Family Clinic at St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies in Russia, will speak about the "Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Health: An Overview of Russian Studies."
Rozina Karmaliani, dean of five schools of nursing in the Middle East and South Asian, including, the Aha Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Pakistan, will speak on "Gender-Based Violence: Contributing Factors and New Interventions."
Tulia Maria Uribe, a nursing professor at Colombia's Universidad de Antioquia and researcher in reproductive health project in areas near Colombia's drug-torn Medellin and Cali communities, will speak about "Gender-Based Violence in Colombia: The Political and Cultural Context, Consequences to Women's Health, and Local Prevention Interventions." She has contributed to several studies related to women's self-care, sexuality in young people and couples, and gender-based violence issues related to stress and resilience.
A talk by Salvadoran Supreme Court Justice Mirna Perla will focus on human rights and women's domestic and sexual violence. She participated in the creation of a Central American Commission on Human Rights and was involved in the El Salvador peace accords of 1992.
On March 5 and 6, the conference convenes in the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building and McLeod Hall.
Agnes Tiwari will give a keynote address, "The Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence: What Happens When East Meets West?" Tiwari is head of the School of Nursing and assistant dean of education of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. She is internationally recognized for her research on interpersonal violence prevention and intervention.
Following Tiwari's talk, participants in four concurrent sessions will present research related to a variety of topics: "Evidence-Based Models for Global Policy Decisions"; "Abuse and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, AIDS"; "Violence and Pregnancy: The DOVE Study"; and "Workplace Violence."
Afternoon concurrent sessions will include "The Differential Mental Health Impact of Intimate Terrorism and Situational Couple Violence," "Influence of Lifetime Violence," "Intimate Partner Violence and the Family Dynamic" and "Long-Term Impact of Intimate Partner Violence."
The day concludes with "An Evening at Monticello," sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and an anonymous donor. The session includes a private tour of Jefferson's home and gardens, a dinner and a presentation, "Seeking Refuge at Monticello: Domestic Violence in the Jefferson Family, 1808-1826," by Arlene W. Keeling, Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing at U.Va.
On March 6, the conference continues with sessions devoted to "Developing Research on Violence: A Two-Part Faculty Development Course," "Community-Based Research," "Intimate Partner Violence in the International Community," "Intimate Partner Violence in the Hispanic Community," "Testing Lay-Delivered Counseling Versus Economic Empowerment To Decrease Partner Violence, Improve Mental Health and Promote Child Functioning: A Resource Conservation Technology in Pakistan," "Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health Issues," "Education Strategies for Teaching Intimate Partner Violence," "Intimate Partner Violence and Pregnancy #2."
Dr. Elizabeth Miller, an internationally recognized expert in reproductive coercion, teen dating abuse and gender-based violence, will address "Making the Connection: Partner Violence, Reproductive Coercion, and Unintended Pregnancy," in her 1:45 p.m. keynote address in McLeod Hall auditorium. She is chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and professor of pediatrics. She has a particular passion for working with marginalized youth populations, including pregnant and parenting teens, gang-involved youth, youth in foster care and homeless youth.
Late-afternoon sessions include "Clinical Practice," "Toward an Effective Primary Health Care Intervention for Women Who Have Left Abusive Partners," "Intimate Partner Violence in the International Community" and "Community Values, Policy and Intimate Partner Violence."
The conference is open to the public. There are separate fees for the pre-conference symposium, conference and visit to Monticello. The deadline to register is Feb. 3. Registration information and conference details are available online.