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Social Media Initiatives

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During the summer of 2016, the REV Center welcomed four researchers who spent time with members of our community engagement team discussing their research. The interviews cover a range of topics including sexual exploitation of children, intimate partner violence and motherhood, challenges that children in military families face, and core standards for addressing violence against women. We are grateful to them for the time they shared with us. 

Dr. Kelly Bently on the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Motherhood

Dr. Kelly Bentley completed her interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick, Canada and holds an assistant professor position at the University of Maine, Farmington. As a behavioral scientist, Bentley’s work focuses on women's health, mothering, intimate partner violence (IPV), and health policy. She has more than 27 years of experience in community and public health and the varying gendered factors affecting the health of women. Bentley has conducted research in the area of women mothering while experiencing abuse and PTSD experienced by women who have experienced abuse at the hands of an abusive partner. She also holds an appointment to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Maine and has received numerous awards including the prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canada Graduate Scholarship Award. She has had more than 25 grants funded by federal, state, and philanthropic organizations for community level interventions, evaluation, and academic research.  

Dr. Raquel Méndez on Child Sexual Abuse

Dr. Raquel Méndez is a researcher in the Industrial University of Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Dr. Méndez's research interests include child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, unwanted pregnancy in teenage women, and another ways of violence based on gender in familiar and educative contexts. A spanish version of Dr. Méndez's interview can be found here

Dr. Nicola Sharp-Jeffs on the Intersections of Going Missing & Forced Marriage 

Nicola Sharp-Jeffs (BSc, MSc, MA) is a research fellow within the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University. Her research interests include economic/financial abuse as a form of coercive control; rebuilding lives after domestic violence; coordinated community responses to domestic violence, and "going missing" in the context of woman and child abuse. Sharp-Jeffs is also a professional doctorate student of the International Centre researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. She has published book chapters and journal articles on her doctorate studies which explore the links between forced marriage, going missing and child sexual exploitation. Before moving into academia in 2013, Sharp-Jeffs held research, policy, and advocacy positions within academic, government and non-governmental settings at local, national and international levels. She has worked in the violence against women and girls sector since 2006. In 2016, she was made a Winston Churchill Fellow ( and awarded a grant to carry out research on financial abuse overseas. The objective of funding overseas research is to exchange ideas and best practice, and build greater understanding between peoples and different cultures, in order that professions and communities in the UK can benefit from these shared experiences.

Dr. Gabriela Misca on Childen in Military Families

Gabriela Misca (PhD, CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FHEA) brings an intercultural and interdisciplinary perspective to her work, having studied, researched and taught in the field of psychology and its interface with social work, policy, law and practice. She began her career as a researcher in the Romanian Academy and relocated to the UK to pursue her PhD at Newcastle University studying children who grew up in Romanian orphanages. Her academic tenure in psychology is at the University of Worcester, UK, where Misca is pursuing an active research portfolio on the broad topic of family diversity and child development, including substitute parental care, intercountry adoption and global surrogacy, same-sex parenting, domestic violence and, recently, children and military families. She publishes widely and is often invited to speak on these topics at international conferences and in the media. Her forthcoming book, Psychology & Social Work: Applied Perspectives, will be published by Polity, Cambridge, UK in 2017. 

It has been her dream to go to the U.S. to develop her research into military and veteran families. This became reality over the past year, when as a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar, Misca spent 10 months in Boston, hosted by the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College, collaborating with both practice agencies and research partners in identifying best practice in supporting military and veteran families and assessing their cultural transferability. Misca hopes her Fulbright research entitled “Parenting under fire: a cross-cultural examination of child maltreatment in military families” will lead to a greater understanding of the challenges faced by children whose parents serve and have served in the armed forces, which include regular relocations and school moves, coping with having a parent away for extended periods, and sometimes the effects of the loss or injury of a parent during service. While many children show remarkable resilience and thrive in military and veteran families, such stressors can bring wide-ranging challenges to the adjustment and wellbeing of military children. Upon returning to the UK from her Fulbright year, she aims to provide leadership on developing a programme of research and training focused on a cross-section of issues confronting the military families in the UK, in collaboration with research and practice partners and military and veteran community agencies. Further info:


We are committed to engaging with a broad audience about violence against women and children issues. This includes posting to our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter On our social media pages we share relevant current events (domestic and global). Additionally, we are increasingly developing and translating research content for a social media environment. We have distributed fact sheets on teen dating violence and economic abuse. If you are interested in partnering with us on a social media initiative email:
For those seeking professional connection, we also have established a VAWC Linkedin page.
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