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Family Violence Prevention Advisory Panel
Family safety serves as an underpinning for all activities offered through the Resource Center. Healthy, supportive family relationships are important to the well-being of children and their parents. Preventing and addressing domestic violence, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and child maltreatment are important components of all HMRE programs. Equally, collaboration among domestic violence programs, child welfare services, HMRE practitioners, and other stakeholders (e.g., states, community-based organizations, human-services agencies, program participants, and the general public) creates an important safety net to support families in building safe and stable homes.
To ensure that issues of domestic violence and child maltreatment continue as a foundation of all Resource Center efforts to promote relationship education, the Resource Center has established a Family Violence Prevention Advisory Panel. Our panel members provide expertise serving diverse populations across a broad spectrum of family violence issues as well as innovative prevention and intervention strategies.
Meet the Panel Members
Noël Bridget Busch-Armendariz
Dr. Busch-Armendariz is a nationally recognized expert in sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence. She has conducted research funded by a variety of federal and state agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Justice’s, National Institute of Justice, Office of Victims of Crimes, and the Office of Violence and Women, the Texas Office of the Attorney General and the Governor of Texas, Criminal Justice Division. As the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault's (IDVSA) director, Busch strives to put her research findings into the hands of game changers, which led to her serving as a member of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. As a result, in 2015 Dr. Busch-Armendariz released the most comprehensive and methodologically innovative study of its kind in the nation on the subject and her research institute co-developed a Blueprint with The University of Texas System Police to provide guidance on how to better respond to campus sexual assault survivors. In April 2016, then Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited with Dr. Busch-Armendariz to learn how to incorporate research findings and recommendations into policies regarding sexual assault in the military and since then she has been invited to the Pentagon to inform the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff on global workplace harassment and the Coast Guard Investigative Services on sexual assault.
A vocal advocate for ending violence against women, Paige Flink is the Executive Director of The Family Place, the Dallas area’s leading organization delivering proven programs that address emotional and physical abuse and incest. When The Family Place began its work in family violence, there were no laws in Dallas protecting battered women, no policies for the arrest of batterers, and no shelters to save lives. Today Dallas is a national model for its integrated response to domestic violence victims, and Paige has been instrumental in changing public perception and the community’s response. Through Paige’s leadership, The Family Place has become a national model in the delivery of family violence services. Paige joined The Family Place in 1991 and became its Executive Director in 1997. A graduate of Leadership Dallas, member of the Dallas Assembly and Charter 100, Paige serves on the City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force and the Family Violence Prevention Council, and is on the board of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.
Tonya brings two graduate degrees and over 23 years of direct service, systems change, project coordination and national, state and local anti-oppression and cultural competency training to lead the Women of Color Network, Inc. (WOCN, Inc.) She led the successful spin-off of WOCN, Inc. in September 2014, bringing it from a $150,000 to $1.7 million organization. As CEO, Tonya oversees the overall operations and programming of WOCN, Inc., generates funds for new initiatives, and provides vision and direction for the national training, technical assistance, programming and support provided to WOCN, Inc. constituents and colleagues by staff, Board, and consultants across the country. Tonya is located at the Harrisburg, PA home office.
Fernando Mederos is Adjunct Faculty at the Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work, a writer and researcher on fatherhood and DV, and an independent consultant, trainer and speaker on men and domestic violence, fatherhood and domestic violence, and fatherhood and trauma. From 2006 to 2015 he was Director of Fatherhood Engagement at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. He is committed to strength-based and culturally competent approaches to working with men that are firmly rooted in safety and responsibility.
Savannah Sanders is the founder of www.SexTraffickingPrevention.org and author of Sex Trafficking Prevention: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Parents and Professionals. Sanders has expertise in human trafficking, child abuse prevention, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, intergenerational abuse and is a strong advocate for survivor leadership. For more than 9 years, Sanders has worked with communities across the country to provide survivor and trauma-informed training, consulting and curriculum development that impacts the way survivors of abuse receive services. She uses her dynamic background as a social worker, parent, foster parent, and survivor leader to impact the hearts and minds of those she works with. Sanders has extensive experience in providing training seminars for rural communities, prevention, trauma-informed care, and integrating services. Sanders shares her compelling story of abuse and recovery as a source of inspiration and motivation for audiences across the United States, providing testimony on Emmy-nominated television news segments, documentaries and on talk radio. Sanders has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in women and gender studies from Arizona State University.
Paul Schewe is a clinical/community psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice at UIC. Paul has served as the Director of UIC’s Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Violence since 2006. His work ranges from basic research identifying factors associated with the perpetration of interpersonal violence, to developing preventive interventions, to using evaluation and dissemination strategies to further develop existing violence prevention programs for agencies, communities, and statewide networks of service providers. The focus of his research includes sexual assault, teen dating violence, domestic violence, and young children’s exposure to violence.