Bonnie S. Fisher, Professor, University of Cincinnati
NIJ Conference 2010
Bonnie Fisher: Where I'd like to see the research go is on several dimensions. First, I'd like to see more collaboration between researchers and practitioners. I think we've done a really good job in terms of taking a multidisciplinary approach, but I'd like to make sure that we keep this collaboration so that there's a communication between researchers and collaborators, because I think that's so important to inform not only research but also best practices in the field. I mean, if we're going to make more head waves than what we've made in the last 15 years under the Violence Against Women Act in terms of reducing sexual victimization of women, I think this collaboration is just, it's necessary.
I've worked with practitioners in Cincinnati at the Y, in Women Helping Women, on a project that's looking at how victimization against women with disabilities and deaf women … sort of, what are the barriers to services for them? And that collaboration literally started as a result of a Violence Against Women grant, and we had to start by developing a charter, developing a common language to talk to each other about, develop a process. And it's really been an organic sort of evolution in terms of our relationship. And like I said, it started from, we got the grant. And we all had to come together as partners, equal partners, and work on this. And I think one of the things that's really helped is that we really respect each other in terms of the expertise that each one of us brings to the table. And we listen to each other, which I think is an important component as well.
One of the areas I think is really important is measurement — especially for practitioners, measuring help-seeking behaviors and the impact of those help-seeking behaviors. And I think what researchers can bring to the table there is our expertise with respect to knowing a lot about valid and reliable measurement. And what I think practitioners can bring is knowing how the system works, knowing how organizations work, knowing how when their clients come into their organization seeking services, sort of what's on their minds, what do they need. And so I think if you bring those two together, we can have better measurement in terms of understanding help-seeking behavior and impact of that help-seeking behavior on women's needs.
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Bonnie Fisher, Professor, University of Cincinnati
Date created: August 16, 2010