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Faculty Mentor(s): Ruth Fleury-Steiner, Susan Miller (Sociology & Criminal Justice), Jennifer Horney (Epidemiology)

Public health experts agree the best approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. is enacting large- and small-scale social distancing measures. However, there are vulnerable subpopulations for whom this approach is particularly problematic, including victims of domestic violence, who may be forced to shelter with abusive partners, or who may be limited in their safety-seeking activities. Agencies that provide comprehensive services for domestic violence (DV) victims draw on theories of empowerment and trauma as they design, provide, and evaluate services. In the current pandemic context, however, providers are challenged with maintaining provision of critical evidence-based services within the context of social distancing measures. This project seeks rapid collection and analysis of data for timely documentation of DV services in the context of the public health crisis. The study focuses on the interaction between DV operational theories, COVID-19 public health measures and impacts to DV services.

Students will work on the collection, review, and qualitative analysis of perishable secondary data, including information and resources found on local, state and national DV organization websites, information outlining modified procedures for core services like criminal and civil courts, and/or information on state or municipal websites, such as varied definitions of “essential services.” Students will also assist with preparation and dissemination of resulting¬† recommendations to national and state organizations, as well as to scholarly outlets.

Required Skills

Familiarity with survivor-centered services and trauma-informed services.  Excellent reading and analytical skills. Ability to work independently.

Recommended Skills

Familiarity with Excel or Google Sheets.  Prior coursework in qualitative analysis a plus.