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2018-19 IEFV Funded Projects

The Initiative to End Family Violence (IEFV) is pleased to support multiple grants utilizing innovative interdisciplinary approaches that target family violence. The 2018-19 funded projects are included below.

Interdisciplinary Research and Collaborative-Building Grants

  • Funding Period: July 2018 – June 2019

Living Without Fear Ministry

  • Meredith L. Hardy, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Feizal Waffarn, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, UCI School of Medicine

Our UCI School of Law Collaborative-Building Grant will be used to partially fund a conference on interpersonal violence for Coachella Valley professionals in the disciplines of education, law, medicine, nursing, mental health, law enforcement, clergy and elected officials.  We envision five to eight participants per discipline for a total of 40 to 68 participants.  We plan to include at least one national level speaker on interpersonal violence as well as a youth panel from local educational institutions.

A key component of the conference will be interdisciplinary discussion groups aimed at cross discipline communications.  Participants will be given anonymous pre- and post- conference questionnaires.  The first will focus on participants’ initial views of the usefulness of interdisciplinary approaches to prevent/reduce interpersonal violence.  The post-test will assess their impressions of the usefulness of the conference and an interdisciplinary approach.

Our plan for conference outcomes includes: a video of the speaker and youth panel to facilitate future outreach efforts, and development of a preliminary plan for ongoing collaborative interdisciplinary discussion and action on interpersonal violence prevention.

Performing the Ancestral Roots of Family Violence

  • Anthony Kubiak, Professor of Drama, UCI

This project will extend and enrich current course offerings in the Drama department that fall under the rubric of “Healing Performance,” a series of classes that explores the interrelationships between dis-ease and the need for performative strategies in the act of healing. “Performing the Ancestral Roots of Family Violence” will introduce practices that examine the lineages of family and community violence and how these lineages affect present familial and communal patterns and relationships. The project will use constellation therapy, an approach that seeks to heal the wounds of trauma through performance based inquiry.

“Performing the Ancestral Roots of Family Violence” will deepen students’ abilities to re-contextualize family and community tensions in a safe and compassionate atmosphere, so they may begin to resolve them in new and creative ways through their love of performance.

Interrupting the Cycle of Violence Against Commercially Sexually-Exploited Children: Interviewing Methods for Eliciting Disclosures

  • Jodi A. Quas, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, UCI
  • Jennifer LaVoie, Fulbright Visiting Researcher, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, UCI

Growing awareness of the scope of the problem of trafficking of children within the US has led to intense efforts, locally and nationally, to intervene on behalf of such victims and prosecute traffickers. A major challenge to these efforts, though, involves identifying the victims. They often come to the attention of the authorities during investigations of other crimes, such as drug dealing, smuggling, prostitution, or gang activity. The victims are often non-cooperative in these encounters. They are highly suspicious of police, rarely if ever trust adults to help, and are often psychologically controlled by and fearful of their trafficker. In combination, these characteristics make interviewing the victims highly challenging. Unfortunately, no guidelines currently exist regarding how best to question suspected trafficking victims to elicit accurate and useful information. A first step toward developing guidelines is to document how such interviews are currently being conducted. We will carry out this analysis in the present study by evaluating transcripts of police interviews of suspected trafficking victims. We will identify the types of questions asked and responses provided. We will score responses for the type and usefulness of information provided: details specifying trafficking activities versus details relevant to traffickers’ behaviors (e.g., social media sites to procure clients). Finally, we will compare questions and responses to case outcomes. Our work, supported by the Initiative to End Family Violence, will lay the foundation for our future efforts to develop guidelines for interviewing children suspected of commercial sexual exploitation.


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