The mission of NNVAWI is to eliminate violence by advancing nursing education, practice, research, and public policy.

The Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International

The mission of NNVAWI is to eliminate violence against women by advancing
nursing education, practice, research, and public policy.

Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International ● January 16, 2013


Happy New Year from NNVAWI!

Message from the NNVAWI President

Greetings and welcome! I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and warmly thank our Board Member, Susan Jack, for her outstanding leadership on "reviving and revitalizing" our NNVAWI newsletter. Bringing this to fruition has taken tremendous vision, passion, and commitment, not to mention a great deal of time. So on behalf of all of us, thank you so much, Susan.

Since we were last together at the fabulous conference in Charlottesville, Virginia our NNVAWI Board Members have been working hard to enhance our communication strategies. While our conferences provide great opportunities for networking, for identifying synergies and collaborative possibilities, we want a vehicle through which we can sustain and strengthen our capacity to interact during the months between conferences. This newsletter is one way to achieve that end. As well, we are working closely with a web designer to improve our website and more effectively maintain and evolve our membership list. So stay tuned for changes on the not-too-distant horizon!

And please join us in Vancouver in June. As many of you know, the Planning Committee, under the leadership of NNVAWI Board Member, Victoria Smye, is working hard to bring us another great conference. Particularly exciting is the opportunity to take part in "2 great conferences, 1 great destination"!

The Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International June 17th and 18th 2013 and

Critical Perspectives in Nursing and Health Care International June 19th and 20th, 2013.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Warmest wishes to all,

Helene Berman, NNVAWI President

It's Time to Renew Your NNVAWI Membership

One of the current Board's priorities has been to establish a seamless system for NNVAWI membership renewal and to facilitate the process for new members wanting to join the organization. Marilyn Ford-Gilboe (NNVAWI, Vice President) has led and managed this initiative to move to eletronic mailing lists, revising the NNVAWI website, and creating a process for online renewal. Thank you to Marilyn and Eric Bourland, who is providing technical web expertise and support, for successfully achieving this goal.

NNVAWI membership is open to all interested persons (both nurses and non-nurses) and all members are welcome to serve on committees. Active members are nurses and have voting privileges. Associate members are indiviuals (non-nurses) or organizations with an interest in the goals and activities of NNVAWI. Associate members are non-voting. The annual membership for Active and Associate members is $100 USD. Student members are encouraged to join and are offered a reduced annual membership fee of $25 USD.

Join now using our secure online payment system! You will be asked to create a profile, before proceeding to the payment system.

JOIN NNVAWI (new members)

If you are a current member of NNVAWI, please log in to your profile to:

  1. Update your profile information
  2. Renew your membership in NNVAWI for 2013, if you have not already done so.

To renew, login here  From this point, you can set your subscription to the NNVAWI mailing list, pay membership dues, and update your membership profile. Your username is the email address with which you are registered at NNVAWI. (Many people have multiple email addresss; use the address with which you registered at NNVAWI).  Your temporary password is the first three letters of your last name, plus 2013. For example: xyx2013.

Please contact if you have any trouble logging in to edit your profile.

Please log in and renew immediately, and change the temporary password to a more complicated password that you will remember, but which is at least eight characters in length. It is important to update your profile. By updating your profile, you are helping us keep our directory current and ensuring that you receive important NNVAWI news.



19th NNVAWI Conference-ABSTRACT SUBMISSION EXTENDED to February 15, 2013

In 2013 you are all invited to beautiful Vancouver, BC to attend the 19th NNVAWI Conference on June 17-18, 2013.

Call for Abstracts is open!

Submission deadline has been extended to February 15, 2013

This conference will provide an excellent opportunity for nurses, social workers, mental health, counselors, physicians, advocates, community activists, policy makers and researchers working in the area of violence against women to share their knowledge, experience, research and practice through papers, posters and workshops/symposia.

We invite submission of abstracts related to the following themes for oral or poster presentation:

  • trauma- and violence-informed policy, programs and practice
  • violence, abuse and social action
  • structural and interpersonal violence
  • equity and inequities in health policy and practice
  • innovative interventions
  • transformative partnerships in ending violence
  • engaging boys and men in dialogue around violence

Submit an abstract today!

1st Critical Perspectives in Nursing and Health Care International Conference

June 19-20, 2013

Call for Abstracts is open!

Submission deadline is January 31, 2013

This leading edge conference engages nurses, health care professionals, and interdisciplinary scholars in critical dialogue and analyses for transformative actions in health and health care. Through sharing research, theoretical and discussion papers this conference emphasizes dialogue and the exchange of ideas between participants.

We invite submission of abstracts related to the following themes for oral presentations:

  • health, history and social justice
  • critical cultural perspectives
  • anti-oppressive and equity-informed approaches
  • intersectionality
  • transformative knowledge
  • reflective practice
  • critical historical analysis
  • citizens' engagement in health
  • critical knowledge translation

Submit an abstract today!

If you have questions about abstract submissions or about either conference, please contact:

Conference Chair: Dr. Victoria Smye,

Conference Co-Chair (Nursing Network): Dr. Helen Brown,

Conference Co-Chair (Critical Perspectives): Dr. Gladys McPherson,

Meet NNVAWI President Dr. Helene Berman, RN PhD

Helene Berman, NNVAWI President

Helene is the President of NNVAWI, a position she has proudly held since 2010. Dr. Berman, RN, PhD is Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University (London, Ontario, Canada), and Research Scholar, Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children. Her research has focused on violence in the lives of children and has included homeless, Aboriginal, and newcomer youth who have experienced marginalization, trauma, uprooting, and displacement. As well, Helene has examined the influence of past trauma on women as they become new mothers. She was the Principal Investigator on two national studies examining how girls and young women are socialized to expect violence, its effects on their health, and implications for policy makers and programmers. Currently, Helene leads a CIHR-funded team grant using youth-centered participatory action research and arts-based approaches to examine the impacts of structural violence on the health of youth. The theoretical and methodological perspectives used are informed by critical and feminist theory, intersectionality, participatory approaches, and narrative analysis. She is past Chairperson of the Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence and Editor with Y. Jiwani of the forthcoming book, Faces of Violence in the Lives of Girls (Althouse Press).

Melissa Sutherland, NNVAWI Treasurer

I am the official tracker and keeper of NNVAWI finances (aka Treasurer). Actually, Wells Fargo keeps and I track! I am an Assistant Professor at the Connell School of Nursing, Boston College and before joining the faculty practiced as a nurse practitioner at an STD clinic in New York. I graduated with my PhD from the University of Virginia in 2009, Wahoo! I currently teach both undergraduate and master's level population-focused health courses. My research focuses on violence and the sexual health consequences, specifically STD/HIV risk. I have enjoyed serving on the board and look forward to our next conference!

Melissa Sutherland

Sutherland, M.A. & Fantasia, H.C. (2012). Successful research recruitment strategies in a study focused on abused rural women at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Journal of Midwifery and Women"s Health. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/j.1542-2011.2011.00134.x

Sutherland, M. (2011). Mediators of child sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections. Nursing Research, 60(2), 139-147. 

Sutherland, M.A., Fontenot, H., & Fantasia, H.C. (In press). Beyond assessment. Examining providers" responses to violence. Journal of the Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

NNVAWI Student Members - Introducing Jessica Draughon

Jessica Draughon is the current NNVAWI Board Student Representative. Jessica is currently a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jessica identifies that the first days following a sexual assault are incredibly important to facilitate patient recovery. As a Forensic Nurse Examiner she has been working with victimized patients after sexual assault and violent interpersonal assaults. The evidence base which forensic nurses work from needs to be expanded and solidified. There is solid evidence regarding the mental health sequelae from such traumatic experiences. However the evidence surrounding HIV prevention (a potential physical sequela) through the use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (HIV PEP) after a sexual assault, although expanding, is missing some critical information.

Jessica DraughonOne of the reasons cited for not offering HIV PEP is that patients traditionally do not complete the full HIV PEP regimen. To date, the majority of research has focused on the percentage of patients who take HIV PEP, and then the percentage that complete the 4 week course of HIV antiretrovirals from the perspective of the healthcare provider. Due to the mobility of this population they are often very difficult to contact for follow-up. Thus, our estimates of adherence (around 40% of patients) may be lower than actual rates of adherence.

My research is an important first step in finding out what is happening with patients during the first few weeks after the assault, both in terms of mental health, as well as HIV PEP adherence. For each participant I am gathering information from the participants' medical records, as well as self-report surveys including information on depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms, social support, habits, and finally, adherence. In addition, I am interviewing a subset of participants to flesh out our understanding of their perceptions of the care experience during post-assault care, their decisions around HIV PEP, and generally their experiences navigating daily life since the assault. This study will give us a more complete picture from the participants" point of view. This in turn will allow nurse researchers, and forensic nurses to move forward in creating interventions to improve the care received by patients after a sexual assault.

Congratulations to Jessica who in 2012 received two prestigious grants, one from the American Nurses Foundation and a second from the Emergency Nurses Foundation/Sigma Theta Tau International Scholar program.

WHO International Network of VAW Researchers

Dr. Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Team Leader for Sexual Health, Gender, Reproductive Rights and Adolescence within the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization, convened an international team of researchers in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2013 to establish an International Network of VAW Researchers. NNVAWI was exceptionally well represented on this small working group with Drs. Agnes Tiwari (University of Hong Kong, China), Judith McFarlane (Texas Woman's University, USA), Susan Jack (McMaster University, Canada) and Rozina Karmaliani (Aga Khan University, Pakistan). This Network has been established to bring together researchers from around the world to enhance collaboration by sharing experiences and lessons learned from IPV research and programs, to develop guidelines for research in this field particularly for developing countries, and to ensure that research on violence against women gets translated into policy and action.

The priority objective of this first meeting was to share existing best evidence about effective interventions to prevent or address intimate partner violence. Dr. Jack provided an overview of how qualitative research was used to develop a complex, community-based nursing intervention to identify, assess and respond to intimate partner violence within the context of home visitation programs, specifically the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP). All attendees were raptly engaged with Dr. Tiwari's presentation of the study she is leading with her co-investigators to develop and evaluate the "Becoming Parents" program in Hong Kong. Drawing upon their research collaboration in Pakistan and the US, Drs. McFarlane and Karmaliani discussed their experiences of testing two global intervention models for abused women with children.

WHO VAW Researcher Meeting

SVRI Forum 2013, Bangkok, Thailand

The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRi) Forum 2013, will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 14-17 October, 2013. This time it will include a focus on intimate partner violence as well. The Forum aims also to encourage networking and sharing of knowledge across fields and sectors, particularly across violence against women and violence against children. I encourage you to visit the website and consider submitting an abstract. Deadline is 1 March 2013.

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NNVAWI Updates

Our objective is to disseminate current information about NNVAWI activities and the clinical, research and educational accomplishments of our members. In our revised monthly newsletter, we will introduce you to NNVAWI Board Members as well as spotlight the work of different members. A section of each newsletter will be committed to highlighting the work of student members. Information about international initiatives, upcoming violence-related conferences and other activities will also be disseminated. 

If you or one of your graduate students are working on an innovative VAW project and would like to share your work, please email Susan Jack

RENEW your NNVAWI Membership for 2013

Check out the updated NNVAWI website The Board is actively working to ensure that the website is revised to meet member needs.  You can now pay your annual NNVAWI membership fee on the website. Regular 2013 membership (expires December 31, 2013) is $100, a one-year special/student membership is only $25. All existing members are reminded to logon and renew their membership as soon as possible. Please also share information about NNVAWI with your colleagues and networks, encouraging them to join.


Take some time to "like" NNVAWI on Facebook. Starting in 2013, current VAW news and resources will be posted weekly to the Facebook page. We would also like increase awareness and dissemination of members' Open Access publications using this medium. If you have recently published an article in an Open Access journal, please send the citation to Susan Jack

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