© 2024 — DVARC

Brief History of DVARC

In 2016, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence partnered with Dr. Nkiru Nnawulezi an Assistant Professor in Community Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Nnawulezi facilitated a series of roundtables with researchers and law professionals from local universities. The participants came from American University Washington College of Law, Domestic Violence Clinic; The Catholic University of America, Columbus Community Legal Services, Families and the Law Clinic; George Mason University; Georgetown University Law Center, Domestic Violence Clinic; George Washington Law Family Justice Litigation Clinic; and Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program. The aim of these roundtables was to gain an understanding of the challenges survivors of domestic violence face and explore the state of empirical evidence on domestic violence in DC.

Specifically, the group discussed what data currently exists in DC, what research projects were underway, and also discussed aspirations to engage in future research collaborations. This group formalized into a collective in fall of 2017 as DVARC and is currently working to generate an evidence base that increases survivor-responsive care within multiple systems across the city.

DVARC has Core Members who participate in monthly meetings and contribute regularly to ongoing projects, Associate Members who are present at some meetings and support ongoing projects, and Affiliate Members who act as consultants and provide expertise or support for a specific project or who were once Core or Associate members.

Core Members

Deborah Epstein

Professor Deborah Epstein has been Co-Director of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic for over 25 years, and has been involved with DVARC since its inception.

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The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the federally recognized statewide coalition of domestic violence programs and individuals organized to ensure the elimination of domestic violence in the District of Columbia.

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Erin M. Scheick

Erin M. Scheick is the Managing Attorney in the Family Law Practice of Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic, and has been involved with DVARC since its inception.

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Lauren Bennett Cattaneo

Lauren Bennett Cattaneo, Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University, has been involved with DVARC since its inception.

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Nkiru Nnawulezi

Nkiru Nnawulezi, PhD, co-founder of DVARC, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Affiliate Faculty at Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.

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Rachel Camp

Rachel Camp is a Co-Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic a Professor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center, and has been involved with DVARC since its inception.

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Tahani Chaudhry

Tahani Chaudhry is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at George Mason University. Tahani has been involved with DVARC since moving to the DC area in 2019.

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Associate Members

Batool Al-Shaar, Stephanie Hargrove, Catherine Klein, and Laurie Kohn.