27, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- First Lady Judi Patton joined University of
Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. today in announcing
plans to develop a Center for Research on Violence
Against Women at UK.
“Creation of this center will provide an innovative
and far reaching way to address the welfare of women
victimized by violence and to enhance the stature
and reputation of Kentucky’s postsecondary education
system across the country,” said Patton in announcing
the new center.
“The Center for Research on Violence Against Women
will fit well with the university’s priority focus
on gender issues and risk-related behavior and should
provide an avenue for accessing research funding to
study one of the most devastating social problems
of our time,” said Todd.
The primary focus of the center will be to bring
faculty together to conduct research on issues related
to domestic violence, rape, stalking and related crimes
against women. Three major areas of concentration
have been identified by an initial faculty advisory
group: the health and mental health effects of violence,
legal issues, and public policy and administration. An additional goal of the center would be to help
create a national research agenda on violence against
“When we created the Governor’s
Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services over six years ago, I said we were sending a message
that victims of violence and their advocates were
a priority for this administration,” said Patton.
“Today, our announcement signals that this priority
extends to the universities of the Commonwealth.”
In order to ensure the most effective research agenda,
Todd indicated that he would like to raise money for
an endowed chair for the UK Center for Research on
Violence Against Women. Several victims’ groups have
announced plans to contribute funding to the endowment,
including the Kentucky
Association of Sexual Assault Programs (rape crisis
centers), the Kentucky
Domestic Violence Association (spouse abuse centers),
and the Mary
“I am particularly pleased with the expertise in
this area that is already present in UK's faculty
and by the enthusiasm they have shown for developing
a research center that can have both great local relevance
as well as significant national influence,” said UK
Acting Provost Michael T. Nietzel.
Patton and Todd credited Carol Jordan, executive
director of the Governor’s
Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services,
with developing the basic concept of the center.
“The extraordinary importance of this center lies
in its ability to promote research and scholarship
in the short run and safer lives for Kentucky families
in the long run,” said Jordan.
It is expected that the university approval process
for the center will be completed prior to the end
of 2002 and that initial activities of the center
will begin shortly thereafter.