Notre Dame International to host virtual panel on domestic violence from a global perspective

Author: Colleen Wilcox

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Notre Dame International (NDI) is hosting a virtual panel on domestic violence through the perspectives of experts from India, Mexico and the United States. The Oct. 16 event titled “Domestic Violence: Empowerment and Community Intervention” is part of NDI’s global roundtable series focusing on global challenges during the pandemic and beyond.

With indicators that all types of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, have increased and intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations has called this a “shadow pandemic.”

“The worldwide increase in domestic violence during the pandemic is a profound further reflection of this tragedy in human relationships,” says Geraldine Meehan, director of faculty engagement at NDI. “It is hoped that through the collective expertise and empathic humanity of our international panel, we will come to appreciate the power of community intervention, recognize the possibility for personal agency of victims/survivors, and aspire for change."

During the roundtable, several questions will be addressed: what are some of the complex intersections of domestic violence and COVID-19 related stressors?; what are the pressing priorities for intervention and prevention for individuals/families at risk?; and how has the COVID-19 pandemic revealed strengths and weaknesses to the adaptability of our approaches with families, particularly those who are marginalized?

Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., assistant provost for internationalization and associate professor of political science, will serve as the host. Laura Miller-Graff, associate professor of psychology and peace studies, will help answer the questions addressed and moderate the conversation with several global experts. Her own research examines the developmental effects of exposure to violence in childhood. With a focus on children who have multiple traumatic exposures, she investigates resulting patterns of resilience and psychopathology, including the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Panelists include:

Amy Bonomi, a professor and director of Michigan State University’s Women’s Leadership Institute.

Nayreen Daruwalla, who has worked on gender-based violence for the last twenty years and developed the program Prevention of Violence against Women and Children at SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action), a non-profit organization working on public health issues in Mumbai, India.

Cecilia Martinez-Torteya, a research professor at Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico and part of the National System of Investigators. Her research addresses the mental health impacts of interpersonal violence on women and their children.

“It's an honor to have these panelists with us for this global roundtable,” says Miller-Graff. “Each of these scholars brings unique expertise to this conversation that will allow us to think deeply about context, but also broadly about ways in which we, as global citizens, can work for and support the dignity of families, especially those who are most marginalized.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Originally published by Colleen Wilcox at on October 07, 2020.