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August 17, 2022

Campbell addresses domestic violence

By BEN SCHWARTZ | March 28, 2013

Jacquelyn Campbell, School of Nursing professor, nationally acclaimed domestic violence researcher and advocate for abused women, spoke last night before a small crowd at Mason Hall on her work over the years and life experience as a woman in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field.

The event was the second in a series entitled, “Innovation through Imagination: Women in STEM” sponsored by the Women’s History Month Committee. The Office of Multicultural Affairs Program Coordinator Sarah Sanchez and Center for Health Education & Wellness Associate Director Barbara Schubert were the primary organizers for the event.

Campbell briefly spoke about her family and upbringing in a small town in western New York before shifting the talk to the years she spent in Dayton, Ohio and Detroit, Mich. after graduating from Duke University with a nursing degree.

“I was talking to more and more abused women, and I was leading a support group at the shelter, and one of the things that would sometimes happen is I’d ask a woman to tell me her story. And, when she would tell me her story, I would recognize some of those risk factors I had identified in [her master’s thesis on homicides of women in abusive relationships] and I’d think, oh, that sounds really scary, oh, that’s a lot like some of those factors that I identified. But I was more scared than she was, and that’s been an enduring finding from the real world that has really sparked my research and made me ever more committed,” Campbell said

Campbell asked herself how she could help abused women figure out that they were in threatening situations. In response she developed the Danger Assessment, a tool now used widely in the United States and around the world to help abused women.

“These were resourceful, smart, intelligent women while a lot of the research depicted abused women as somehow pathetic, somehow weird, depressed, all that kind of stuff, you know, it would focus on their deficits. And I’m meeting and interacting every day with, as I said, smart, resourceful women who are caught in an abusive relationship,” Campbell said.

Her research now focuses on intimate partner violence and domestic violence as a public health issue.

“I came to this event to show support primarily for this month where we have this focus on women and the big role they play in society. I definitely want to learn more about the troubles that they face. As a man, sometimes, you are not up-to-date on a lot of the issues that women face everyday,” freshman Ronann Carrero said.

Campbell stated that many of the problems arise from a lack of awareness in our current political system.

“Mainly, primarily, what I learned the most was that a lot of the faults are in the system. The holes in the system lag in providing women, especially those with the most needs, with the necessary means to protect themselves and improve their living,” he said.

Campbell noted that the issues of domestic violence, health and wellness, and women’s rights are all tied together. She said that the federal government had made strides in the effort to aid abused women with passage of the Affordable Care Act, and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, but added that neither passed without resistance.

That thought was especially striking to the female students in the audience.

“I came because I’m really enjoying all of the Women’s History Events and I just think it is important to be—to know all of the things that are happening with women and how the whole feminist movement is happening now, how we are still underrepresented,” freshman Maria Camila Espinal said.

She also spoke about  her reaction to Campbell’s statement regarding the resistance various women’s right bills faced in Congress.

“I didn’t know that men in the government were still so opposed to giving women their rights, I thought we were progressing, but I guess apparently we still have a lot to do to earn all of our rights,” she said.


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