Brockport Group Travels Abroad to Address Domestic Violence Issues

- Brockport, NY (WROC)- Another domestic violence related homicide in Monroe County Wednesday night has highlighted the struggles families often face behind closed doors.

"We can help folks understand that domestic violence occurs in every country, in every socioeconomic status," says Debra Fromm Faria, a SUNY Brockport Professor of social work.

Fromm Faria and a delegation of students and teachers at SUNY Brockport plan to do just that. From a campus all too familiar with domestic violence tragedy to another country grappling with addressing the issue as one of public health, comes a different kind of exchange program.

"Traveling to Russia will give us the opportunity to not only see that through our own lens here in Rochester but as well as cross-culturally," says Sarah Hand, one of four social work students in the delegation.

The US State Department in conjunction with the Linkages program, is sponsoring a one-week trip to Velikiy Novgorod Russia for the social work students and professionals to discuss solutions to domestic violence.

The Russian delegation came to Rochester in October. Now SUNY Brockport and Nazareth social work students will go there to meet with law enforcement officers, shelter operators and researchers to discuss best practices.

"Domestic violence does not only affect the individual suffering through it but those who are experiencing the effects as well," says Hand, who is studying how to support children who are victims of trauma.

Fromm Faria says talking about the issue openly is the first step in changing how a society treats it. For the men, women and children who are victims every day, she hopes the group's work will inspire courage.

She says public dialogue is key--

"We have to get rid of the feeling of shame," says Fromm Faria.

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