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Ongoing Initiatives at the Center

Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention

The Center works with multiple University departments on research projects to conduct science that enables sexual and domestic violence to be better understood and to create innovative initiatives to prevent and respond to violence. Our goal is to foster an environment where this issue can be discussed in depth and new ideas can be generated to help prevent sexual violence and support victims.

In conjunction with the Institute of Optics and community partners, Drs. Cerulli and Cullen are currently studying the use of existing and novel alternative light source (ALS) lights, a technology used for bruise imaging. Existing ALS technology works well for light-skinned victims of domestic violence, but is less effective for people of color. By improving this technology, the team aims to reduce disparities by improving bruising documentation and increasing court orders of protection for victims of color.

Human Trafficking Prevention

The Center supports the work of the Rochester City Court’s Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC), which links victims with much-needed care while they navigate the court process. In 2013, the Center began supporting the court administratively, and later began connecting the court to local service providers to create a collaborative environment to support victims. The Center continues to identify ways in which we can support the court. Most recently, the Center held a donation drive benefitting the community agencies that provide services to the clients of HTIC.

LGBT Initiatives

The SBAC works with multiple organizations, both on campus and in the Rochester community, to address many of the social injustice issues and health care disparities that are faced by the LGBT community. Initiatives have included the removal of transition-related health care exclusions for UR students and employees, the creation of a web page specifically for LGBT patients at Strong Memorial Hospital, and the launch of a “Trans at Rochester” web page and guide book to provide information to support transgender students as they navigate University of Rochester campus facilities, resources, and systems.

Unconscious Bias Training

Dr. Cullen continues to provide education on the impact of unconscious bias, using techniques such as the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ exercise to impact participants. This year he co-facilitated a 2-hour workshop for new University of Rochester faculty on the impact of unconscious bias on the academic environment and developed a new training program for Public Safety employees. He also educated the Warner School Dean Search Committee and the Willow Domestic Violence Center CEO & President Search Committee on bias and search committee best practices.

International Initiatives

Dr. Cerulli has provided consultation to the World Health Organization and Fogarty International on issues related to domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion. The Center is also host to international scholars from the region who are pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the University of Rochester. A major initiative of these collective efforts is the launch of a survey of perinatal women linking intimate partner violence, depression, and child health outcomes.