Session: Strategies for Reciprocally Conducting Research with Domestic Violence Agencies across Various Service Environments (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

259 Strategies for Reciprocally Conducting Research with Domestic Violence Agencies across Various Service Environments

Saturday, January 15, 2022: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Liberty Ballroom P, ML4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Heather Storer, Ph.D., University of Louisville, Katie Schultz, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Sherry Hamby, PhD, University of the South and Claire Willey-Sthapit, MSSW, University of Washington
Interest in integrating community-engaged and emancipatory research approaches has grown exponentially in Social Work, particularly within the fields of domestic violence and sexual assault (DV/SA). Furthermore, DV/SA-related research has ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is a growing concern of heightened abuse for DV/SA survivors cohabitating with abusive partners. DV/SA agencies and tribal governments are frequently contacted by university-affiliated researchers seeking to conduct studies with their affiliated populations and staff. While this research promises to advance understanding of DV/SA, the direct benefits of participation for communities is not always readily apparent.

Challenges of collaboratively conducting research have been compounded during the pandemic. DV/SA agencies and service partners have been strained by rising demands for services, evolving public health protocols, and depleted resources, often leading to reduced capacity for participating in research. Furthermore, the United Nations has advised not conducting research directly with survivors residing with abusive partners during the pandemic due to the absence of adequate safety protocols, so avenues for collecting ongoing surveillance and qualitative data have been constrained.

The purpose of this roundtable is to facilitate a conversation regarding concrete strategies for facilitating reciprocity and mutuality across the research process from project conceptualization to data collection to analysis to dissemination. The discussion will integrate relevant elements of community-based participatory action research (CBPR) that can (and should) be translated across multiple study designs. We will discuss general considerations for partnering with organizations and tribal entities and tailored recommendations for crisis situations like the global pandemic or natural disasters. Based on our community-engaged research experiences, the presenters will each discuss different setting environments from mainstream and culturally specific DV/SA organizations, low-income Southern communities, tribal-serving organizations, and international development settings.

The changing global context brought on by the pandemic presents a critical opportunity for the Social Work field to assess and adapt our standard research processes. The presentation will add considerably to social work's knowledge base by moving beyond a general discussion of the ethics of working with community-based partners and tribal entities to having a more nuanced discussion on strategies for developing mutually beneficial research partnerships. While these approach have long been used in CBPR, there is considerable room for nurturing more authentic engagement for all Social Work scholars conducting community-based DV/SA work.

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