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School joins nationwide effort to improve public health response to partner violence

Cynthia Fraga-Rizo, Ph.D.
Cynthia Fraga Rizo, Ph.D.

In the fall, UNC-Chapel Hill will be one of 14 universities across 11 states working to improve the public health response to intimate partner violence by building capacity among community agencies. As part of these efforts, UNC School of Social Work will be partnering with the Office of Gender-Based Violence at Arizona State University (ASU) to expand its Survivor Link program, which works to strengthen interventions for survivors of intimate partner violence and train the next generation of social workers to respond to domestic violence.

The expansion project is supported by Public Health AmeriCorps, a collaboration between AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and the Centers for Disease Control. The partnership was created to support the recruitment, training, and development of the next generation of public health leaders to respond to the nation’s public health needs.

Students from UNC School of Social Work will join a cohort of 99 Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps service members from across the United States and work closely with intimate partner violence experts to build capacity in public health agencies to improve knowledge about domestic violence and the use of evidence-based interventions for survivors.

Social work associate professor Cynthia Fraga Rizo will be among partner faculty across the country helping to manage UNC’s participation with the program, which includes funding for field placements at local nonprofits, training, and networking nationwide with social work students dedicated to disrupting gender-based violence.

“I am thrilled that our School will be part of this effort, as it will prepare students to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence across our state,” Rizo said.