Funding awarded to create Hispanic Family Violence Institute

Dec. 8, 2008 by Scott Southward NMSU News Center

New Mexico State University is now the home of the Hispanic Family Violence Institute, which will address domestic violence among Hispanic populations nationwide. The institute was created through a one-year $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to NMSU’s College of Health and Social Services School of Social Work.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the School of Social Work and NMSU,” said Martha Roditti, assistant professor and field coordinator at the School of Social Work. “We have worked with HHS on other projects so they have seen the tremendous work we do to address family violence. With this funding we can now share our knowledge with others across the country.”

The institute will engage in research, training and technical assistance, with an emphasis on promoting culturally relevant services to Hispanic populations in the area of family violence. The institute also will promote best practices in regards to Hispanic populations and family violence through providing information on techniques related to program implementation, service delivery and evaluation.

Initial outreach efforts will focus on eight states across the U.S. with the fastest growing Hispanic populations. A Web site is being developed to host online publications and curriculums, and to provide tools to family violence organizations that may not have a thorough understanding of how to best serve Hispanic clients

“We will engage in capacity building with domestic violence organizations nationwide and on promoting and researching new and innovative practices for working with Hispanic populations,” said Madeline Gillette, coordinator for the School of Social Works domestic violence training program. “There are increasing numbers of Hispanics in the US so our goal is to provide organizations with the tools to help them understand and work effectively with Hispanic clients.”

This project is a collaborative effort with La Casa, a domestic violence shelter in Las Cruces. It’s a three-year project, but funding levels for years two and three have not been determined. Roditti and Gillette are the co-principal investigators for the project. Gina Orona-Ruiz at La Casa will serve as the lead trainer.

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