Chronicle on WCVB-5, December 6, 2017
Produced by Nina Varghese
On October 30, 2017, the Joint Committee on Public Health and Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators held a public hearing on domestic violence as a public health issue. Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., co-founder of the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, offered a written testimony that highlighted the need to build or enhance community readiness to deal with domestic violence in all communities.
Wellesley-Cabo Verde Convening
The Centre for Research and Training in (CIGEF) and the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) held a joint conference, Gender, Social Justice, and Women’s Empowerment, in Cabo Verde in February. Vanessa Britto, M.D., Wellesley College Medical Director; LaShawnda Lindsay- Dennis, Ph.D., WCW research scientist; Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of WCW; and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., WCW senior research scientist, were among the presenters. Attended by government officials, UN officers, academics, students, and representatives of numerous community organizations and NGOs, the conference symbolized the cementing of a partnership that has been growing since 2013. “Our joint conference reflected an important effort to work across the language barrier to share research and best practices related to issues facing women and girls worldwide,” Maparyan said. “Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from Cabo Verde, the U.S., and other countries came together to learn together, converse about strategies, and build new working relationships.”
In fall 2015, the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) launched the Justice and Gender- Based Violence Research (JGBVR) Initiative to build on its work advancing the role that research plays in improving the lives of women and girls, families and communities. Led by Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and an interdisciplinary group of collaborators, the JGBVR team conducts and disseminates research that meaningfully addresses the causes and consequences of gender-based violence and the social, health, and justice system responses to violent crime and victimization. To do this work, the initiative builds relationships with partners in the community, the criminal justice system, governmental and non-governmental organizations, international partners, and other researchers and institutes. Nine months later, the team has made great strides in linking its high-quality, gender-informed research with real action to improve the lives of women and girls in all roles of the criminal justice system—victims, offenders, workers, and policymakers.
The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, led by Co-Directors Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and April Pattavina, Ph.D., senior research scientists, was recently launched at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Longtime followers of the Centers may recognize Williams, who was director of research at the Stone Center at WCW from 1996 to 2005. In that role, she led the Navy Family Study, a comprehensive approach to understanding the factors that affect successful and unsuccessful outcomes for Navy families involved with the family advocacy office, as well as the outcomes for adults and children exposed to domestic violence, child physical abuse, or child sexual abuse. Williams co-directed the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center and continued her research on the long-term consequences and memories of child sexual abuse. Pattavina comes to WCW from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where she collaborated with Williams and colleague Melissa S. Morabito, Ph.D., associate professor, on the national multi-site study of sexual assault case attrition through the criminal justice system that is described in the following interview. She brings an interest in applying advances in information and computer technology to the study of social problems. She has been invited to give presentations and workshops on the use of administrative data for policy analysis and received an award from The Boston Foundation for using data to drive community change.
Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2004
Linda Williams, Ph.D. traveled to Brisbane, Australia, in September to present a paper, co-authored with Veronica Herrera, at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) 15th International Congress.
Research & Action Report Spring/Summer 2005
In December 2004, Linda Williams, Ph.D. and Nan Stein, Ed.D. met with Orietta Gargano, executive director of the Rome Anti-Violence Center in Italy, to discuss collaborative efforts to stop violence against women and girls in the United States and Italy.
Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2005
Nan Stein, Ed.D., Jasmine Waddell, Ph.D. and Linda Williams, Ph.D. presented at the third South African Gender-Based Violence and Health Conference, designed to bring together researchers, clinicians, program managers, and policy-makers to discuss topics such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, vulnerable children, barrier methods, contraception, gender, and gender-based violence among others.
by Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.
February 7, 2005
The conviction of Paul Shanley, a defrocked Catholic priest, on charges of rape and sexual abuse of a child, once again propelled the debate on recovered memory into the media. The jury appears to have understood that memories of child sexual abuse are not always continuous. Most people who were sexually abuse in childhood have all too vivid memories of their experiences. But dozens of credible scientific studies support the conclusion that some men and women who were sexually abused in childhood forget and then go on to recover their memories in adulthood. For example, studies of adults in treatment with mental health professionals have elicited reports of prior periods of no recall of the abuse suffered in childhood. Studies of college students as well as of adults in the wider community find that there are many who report that at some time in the past they forgot their victimization experiences.
According to National estimates, every year more than 700,000 adolescent girls are arrested and brought into the juvenile-justice system. In fact, today, adolescent girls comprise about 28% of all juvenile arrests. Have girls become increasingly more violent in recent years? Is the violent behavior of girls different from that of boys? Do girls need different criminal-justice-system responses to help them cope with the problems they face? And, since many of these girls have experienced abuse in childhood, is there a link between childhood abuse and adolescent delinquency?
Sage Publications – Violence Against Women Journal
October 2005 & November 2005 editions
April 6, 2004