This is the video and transcript of the interview with Bonnie Fisher - a professor at the University of Cincinnati - at the 2010 NIJ Conference, in which she advocates more collaboration between researchers and practitioners in sexual violence research, so as to inform research methods and objectives and facilitate practitioners' integration of research findings into practice.
She provides an example of researcher-practitioner cooperation in a project in which she was involved in Cincinnati. The partnership was developed within the context of a grant issued under the Violence Against Women Act. It involved a collaboration between researchers and practitioners working in the Cincinnati YWCA's program, Women Helping Women, which examined barriers to services for sexual assault victims with disabilities. The collaboration began with the development of a charter, a common language for facilitating communication across disciplines, and a process for achieving agreed upon research and practice objectives. One of the areas of activity mentioned by Ms. Fisher in the interview is the measurement of help-seeking behaviors by disabled sexual assault victims. Researchers have helped in this effort through their expertise in the use of valid and reliable measurement of behaviors. Practitioners contribute information on the features and functioning of their victim services, as well as their knowledge of the circumstances under which clients come to their organizations seeking help. The bringing together of these two domains of expertise provided a better measurement of and insight into help-seeking behavior by disabled sexual assault victims and whether the services provided are meeting their needs.
Date Published: June 1, 2010