News

10/21/2015

Students studying the history of legislative reforms addressing violence against women benefited from a special guest in their Monday political science class taught by Professor Carol Jordan. Representative John Tilley (D, 8th House District) served as the primary sponsor for the most significant piece of legislation related to domestic violence and sexual assault passed by the 2015 General Assembly. He spoke to Professor Jordan’s PS 492 class about the need for what became known as House Bill 8; the provisions of the bill; and how it will expand protection to a broader group of assault, rape, and stalking victims.  Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies majors in the class also posed questions to him about the political process that ultimately resulted in the bill’s passage.

"Having Representative Tilley speak to the students was an incredible opportunity for them

10/9/2015

The 2015 General Assembly passed legislation that will extend civil protections to sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking victims starting January 1, 2016 (2015 House Bill 8). On October 15, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass will host The Summit of Interpersonal and Domestic Violence Orders, a free all-day event that seeks to answer some of the questions expected to come from the expanded domestic violence laws.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Currently, in Kentucky, couples who do not live together, do not have a child together, and who are unmarried are not protected under the current emergency protection order

9/11/2015

LEXINGTON.  September 9, 2015.  Today the Verizon Foundation announced the 2015 Kentucky HopeLine Drive which will collect used mobile phones and accessories and turn them into grants for three domestic violence-related programs in the state. The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) is one of those programs; the grant award supporting creation of an experiential education course that will begin in the spring semester of 2016.  The experiential education course is a joint project of the OPSVAW, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Gender & Women's Studies.  It will allow UK students to be placed with victim-serving agencies (including the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and Greenhouse17) in internships that offer hands-on learning for students while also providing support to these vital agencies.

In the course of speaking at the press

8/4/2015

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of rape kits remain untested on law enforcement or crime lab warehouses or storage shelves. Rape kits are used to conduct a forensic sexual assault examination following an assault, and contain physical evidence (including swabs hair, photographs, and other detailed information obtained from the victim). DNA evidence contained in a rape kit is essential to the prosecution of the crime.  It can identify an unknown rapist or exonerate an innocent suspect; confirm the participation of a known rapist; and connect the rape to other solved or unsolved crimes.  Congress has now appropriated $41 million to support states in testing the backlog of rape kits.

Approximately 20 states have passed or proposed legislation to enact a formal procedure for cataloging and testing forensic rape kits.  Additionally, the advocacy organization Joyful Heart

3/5/2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The Center for Women and Families (CWF) honored five Women of Distinction tonight at the center's 28th Annual Celebration of Service and Survival at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of those outstanding women was Carol Jordan, executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.

“The Center for Women and Families has been recognizing outstanding women in the community through the Women of Distinction Award since 1988,” said CWF’s CEO Marta Miranda. “An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community.”

“Women of Distinction have made significant contributions to education, health care, civil rights, the arts, human services, the

1/26/2015

The historic rape of black women by white men helped launch the civil rights movement, according to a recent book by Danielle McGuire, associate professor at Wayne State University, titled “At the Dark End of the Street.” McGuire’s book declares that black women’s protests fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South and cites the important role Rosa Parks played in these protests as an NAACP investigator.

McGuire will visit the University of Kentucky campus to discuss her book on Feb. 5. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the Alumni

1/22/2015
Brandie Cobb and Carol Jordan

by: Gail Hairston

(Jan. 22, 2015) — Brandie Cobb is a survivor, but more importantly she is also a “thriver.”

A wealth of pain, heartache and hope go into that phrase “survivor of abuse.” But when an individual goes beyond coping to excelling, it is cause for celebration and recognition. Cobb, a University of Kentucky junior, is that kind of individual.

UK and others have chosen to applaud and reward the determination and courage Cobb so modestly displays. The UK Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women awarded Cobb its first Verizon Wireless Women’s Empowerment Scholarship in 2013. Also, Cobb was recently inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars for her “commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership

11/20/2014
Carol Jordan, right, with students

by Gail Hairston

(Nov. 20, 2014) — The reason a female student might not return to her university after her freshman year:

   A) Finances

   B) Grades

   C) Rape

Too many times ‒ more frequently than we have truly understood ‒ the answer is “C.”

The results of a study done among female freshmen at the University of Kentucky in 2011 linking sexual assault and poor academic performance are “direct and compelling,” wrote its authors, Carol Jordan, director of the UK Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women; Jessica Combs, a graduate student in clinical psychology; and Gregory Smith, a professor, university research professor, and director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology.

It wasn’t particularly surprising – for UK results mirror numerous national studies -- that the rate of prior sexual assault among

9/18/2014

(September 18, 2014).  This year the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center (BRCC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  In conjunction with its anniversary, the Center is honoring individuals who have demonstrated unparalleled commitment to eradicate sexual violence in Central Kentucky.

Among the honorees is Carol E. Jordan, executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women in the College of Arts & Sciences.  “Carol has been a critical voice in our state's efforts to address violence against women for the past 30 years.  Her leadership has paved the way for anti-violence agencies like the BRCC to more effectively impact, support, and protect survivors of sexual violence” said Mae Suramek, executive director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center in explaining why Jordan was selected for the award.

As an award recipient, Jordan was asked to share her

8/4/2014

by Gail Hairston

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recently announced that it will support the largest number of graduate and professional students within its relatively short history.  One of the top priorities of the OPSVAW is the support of students, and the 2014-2015 academic year will see the program support five individuals through graduate fellowships and research assistantships.

“It is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the careers of these young scholars while also teaching them that there are real women behind the work that they do,” said Carol Jordan executive director of OPSVAW. “I believe we help give real purpose and inspiration to their academic careers while they also

6/2/2014
Carol Jordan

by Whitney Hale, Mack McCormick

(June 2, 2014) — For more than a century, Kentucky women have fought for the right to vote, to own property, to earn and control their wages, and to be safe at home and in the workplace. Tragically, many of them have been silenced by abuse and violence.

In "Violence Against Women in Kentucky: A History of U.S. and State Legislative Reform," Carol E. Jordan, executive director of University of Kentucky's Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, gives Kentucky women — specifically victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking — a voice. Their stories punctuate her account of the struggles of advocates and legislators to bring legal protections to these Kentuckians. Written for those engaged in the anti-rape and

4/30/2014

by Gail Hairston

(April 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recently announced the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.

The office’s purpose is to shape the creation, implementation and evaluation of public policy as it relates to intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. Specifically, the office will work to enhance direct services to victims, legal response and legislative reform related to violence against women through policy research and analysis, and empirically driven advocacy and practice.

“The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women is a creative opportunity to weave together the interests of several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences with the policy expertise the office affords,” said Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The

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