Month: March 2009

Proactive Action Needed in Dealing with Violence

Dr. Eleanor Lyon, Director of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction at the UConn School of Social Work, addresses the need to be proactive in dealing with violence.

In the article, Violence Is The Death Of Romance, Period, on, CTLiving, author Susan Campbell writes about violence and the recent Rihanna and Chris Brown incident.  Dr. Lyon, one of the experts contacted for the article, states,  “We need to ask hard questions, and we need to talk about what makes a healthy relationship. We need to be proactive. Otherwise, we allow the sad story of the Rihannas and the Browns to get twisted and romanticized, though there’s nothing romantic about a punch to the face.  Nothing.”

Dr. Eleanor Lyon, Associate Professor
in Residence and the Director of the
Institute for Violence Prevention and
Reduction at the UConn School of
Social Work

Dr. Eleanor Lyon, was the primary researcher on a groundbreaking new study Meeting Survivors’ Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experiences released in February 2009. According to Dr. Lyon, the study showed conclusively that the nation’s domestic violence shelters are meeting both the urgent and longer-term needs of victims of violence, and helping them protect themselves and their children.

The study was conducted by Eleanor Lyon and Shannon Lane of the University of Connecticut’s Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction at the School of Social Work in collaboration with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and administered by the National Institute of Justice.

New Study Finds Connecticut Domestic Violence Shelters Highly Effective

One hundred percent of domestic violence survivors, residing in one of Connecticut’s eighteen domestic violence shelters, said they got all or some of the help they needed with restraining orders, understanding about domestic violence, safety planning, custody and welfare/TANF. Ninety-four percent of survivors said the staff made them feel welcome, while ninety one percent said the staff treated them with respect. Overall, Connecticut’s domestic violence victims reported remarkably positive outcomes from staying at shelters. These are just some of the findings the groundbreaking new study Meeting Survivors’ Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experiences released today.

Dr. Eleanor Lyon, Associate Professor in Residence and the Director of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction at the UConn School of Social Work was the primary researcher for the study.

Meeting Survivors Needs includes quotes from domestic violence survivors including:

“I probably would’ve killed myself or stayed and got beaten to death.”
“When I first got here I felt scared and disoriented. Talking to the staff has helped.”
“It has saved my life. I wanted to die.”

The Connecticut survivors who participated in Meeting Survivors Needs are very similar in many ways to survivors from around the country, including most demographics, needs and the overall rating of the help they received during their time in shelter. Nationally, 78 percent of survivors reported that they had children under the age of 18, and 68 percent had minor children with them at the shelter. National data shows that 99 percent of survivors reported they got the help they wanted with their own safety and 95% had assistance with safety planning. Read Full Press Release

Related Articles:

Domestic Violence Shelters Are Meeting Needs of Most Victims, Comprehensive Federally-Funded Study Finds

Domestic Violence Programs Turn Away One-Fifth in Need

Violence Funds Not Sheltered From Budget Cuts

2009-03-03 Students represent School at a forum titled “Corporate Social Responsibility: The Cutting Edge of Business.”

On January 22, Dean Salome Raheim hosted a luncheon to thank students who had represented the School of Social Work at a forum titled “Corporate Social Responsibility: The Cutting Edge of Business.” The forum was organized by President Michael Hogan’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, which is chaired by Professor Waldo Klein. Professor Harriette Johnson is also an active participant with the committee. The Institute for Political Social Work and the School of Social Work itself were co-sponsors of the event. The students reported a very positive experience at the forum and a heightened awareness of their individual role in advancing worker rights around the globe.

UConn has been among the most active schools in the nation in seeking to influence manufactures toward fair labor standards and a living wage for employees by leveraging the value of its name and symbols on logo college apparel (Go Huskies!) as well as its role as an academic institution with an ongoing commitment to human rights. Working through two international monitoring organizations – the Worker’s Rights Consortium and the Fair Labor Association – as well as the Collegiate Licensing Corporation (CLC), universities including UConn have the power to withhold manufacturers’ right to use any of the copyrighted names and symbols that represent the face of the university to the public. While collegiate apparel represents a small portion of the total apparel industry, it is a highly visible and thus, influential segment of that industry.

In seeking students to represent the School’s participation in the forum, volunteers were initially sought. An overwhelming response of 65 students demonstrated the interest and commitment of our student body to these human rights ideals. Because space was limited and available seats at the forum were allocated to schools and programs within the university, only 13 students from Social Work could be appointed. These students – Greg Mirhej , Deanna Clark , Shante’ Powers , David Dal Zin , Willona Amoakoh , Arka Mikel , Nilda Fernandez , Celaura Estrada , Alejandro Pedreira , Shirley Watson , Caryn Lacedonia, Kate Parker, Vincent McMahon – reflected the method concentrations as well as a range of other diverse interests and characteristics common to our school. They were among the total of 80 students from across the university who participated in the forum on the main campus in Storrs.

The forum itself featured a keynote address by Joe Bozich, the CEO of Knight’s Apparel, one of the two largest collegiate apparel corporations in the world. In his remarks, Mr. Bozich described his plans for opening a new factory in the Dominican Republic that will provide a verified living wage to workers which will be approximately a three-fold increase over the current prevailing wage for workers in the industry. The demonstration of such a commitment by an industry leader is groundbreaking news. Since sharing his plan with the UConn community at the forum, Mr. Bozich and Knight’s Apparel have made the public announcement of the “Above and Beyond” initiative.

Following the keynote address, each student participated in two small group discussions with facilitators who were expert with respect to various corporate social responsibility initiatives. These facilitators represented Nike, Counter-Sourcing , Flavours of Life, 10,000 Villages, the CLC, Emma Gardner Design and others. The forum closed with a reception during which students were able to continue the dialogues stimulated by the afternoon’s program.

Students who are interested in issues of corporate social responsibility are welcome to attend meetings of the President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility held on the main campus. There is also an existing student organization on the main campus – the Association for Corporate Social Responsibility – that would welcome participation by students from the School of Social Work. For additional information on either of these opportunities, contact Professor Klein. Finally, if there is interest in initiating student activity within the School of Social Work around issues of corporate social responsibility interested students should contact Milagros Marrero-Johnson, Professor Harriette Johnson or Professor Klein.