Stopping The Violence

It is estimated that one in four women in the United States at one point has experienced some form of domestic violence in her life, according to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice, Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence. Rosa Marie Gonzalez-Guarda, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., assistant professor at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, has made it her mission to prevent such acts of violence from happening in the first place.

Guarda currently is working on a one-year, community based-participatory research (CBPR) pilot project called the Partnership for Domestic Violence Prevention (PDVP). The project designed to develop the infrastructure for the study and prevention of domestic violence at the community level. This will be accomplished through community mobilization and collecting qualitative and quantitative data regarding the needs and preferences for domestic violence prevention programs targeting high risk Hispanics in Miami-Dade County.

This partnership brings together the talents and resources of two-community oriented research centers at the University of Miami-the Center of Excellence for Hispanic Health Disparities Research at the School of Nursing and Health Studies (El Centro) and the Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center at the School of Education (CEW), and a leading local domestic violence community organization, the Coordinated Victim Assistance Center (CVAC) within Miami-Dade’s Department of Human Services.

"This is the first time the School of Nursing and Health Studies is collaborating with both CVAC and the School of Education at the University of Miami on community research, so this is very exciting," says Gonzalez-Guarda.

Once a Community needs assessment is completed (stage 1), Gonzalez-Guarda and her colleagues will begin to identify the potential strategies to incorporate into prevention programs. A subsequent workshop featuring existing promising practices will also be organized to facilitate the identification of promising practices.

The eventual goal of the project will be to develop a community-driven domestic violence prevention program targeting high risk Hispanics in Miami Dade County and to secure adequate funding to conduct large scale, randomized controlled trial to evaluate its effects.” Adds Gonzalez-Guarda.

For more information, contact David Christopher at the UM-School of Nursing and Health Studies (305) 284-1744