March 2, 2023
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A graduate student lunch will follow the talk in 155B from 1:00 pm 2:00 pm, please RSVP.
Violence and trauma prevention: Centering victim agency and leveraging third parties
In efforts to prevent gender-based violence (intimate partner and sexual violence), we often focus on the offender. While intuitive, a comprehensive understanding of the experiences of victims and the roles and actions of others directly or indirectly involved, may be key to preventing violent victimization. That is, I argue that the best framework to understanding violence and trauma prevention is one that takes a strength-based approach that values the capacity and potential of individuals and communities, inclusive of the victims themselves. Centering victim agency is important for developing effective prevention programs and ensuring that these programs are accessible and responsive to minoritized populations most at risk for victimization. Likewise, the recognition that third parties have agency and what they do, or do not do, has implications for whether a violent incident occurs, how severe that incident is, and the post-incident recovery of victims. Leveraging third parties for violence prevention is powerful because it can prevent individual incidents and potentially change the larger socio-cultural risk factors for violence. Using this backdrop, this talk outlines my research on violence and trauma prevention. I focus on my work on gender-based violence prevention including 1) strength- based primary prevention for minoritized populations, 2) campus- and community-based bystander intervention programs, and 3) facilitating help-seeking for prevention of revictimization and suicide. Through a presentation of my past, current, and future work, I discuss how incorporating agency to empower individuals and communities enables us to think more holistically about violence prevention.
Ráchael Powers, PhD.,
is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology and a senior research scientist in the Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence at the University of South Florida. Her main research interests lie in the areas of violent victimization, with a focus on gender-based violence (IPV, sexual assault), hate crime, and bystander behavior. She has worked with a variety of community partners and organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate violence prevention efforts which have been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Population Affairs, National Institute of Justice, and Bureau of Justice Assistance.