The Institute was established with a gift from Howell Ferguson in the mid-1990s. Since the establishment of the Institute until her retirement in early 2006, the Founding Director, Sharon Maxwell, worked on developing lasting relationships with a number of state, federal and private entities.
Dr. Wendy Crook was appointed Director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies upon Dr. Maxwell’s retirement. Dr. Crook brought a history of professional work in domestic violence as well as broad interests in issues of gender and discrimination to the Institute. In addition, Dr. Crook’s years of experience as an administrator in both professional and academic milieus provided a foundation for leading the Institute for Family Violence Studies into the future. Upon Dr. Crook’s retirement, Karen Oehme was appointed the Institute Director.
The Institute strives to contribute to effective responses to the devastation caused by family violence. We work to do this by conducting research that increases the knowledge base about interventions that work, providing technical assistance and training for service providers and advocates, and serving as a resource for professionals as well as the general public seeking information.
Please take the time to peruse the many resources we offer via our website and contact us if you would like information that does not appear to be readily available here.
- The Institute was established with a $100,000 donation from Howell Ferguson.
- Dr. Sharon Maxwell was appointed as the Founding Director of the Institute.
- Received first State of Florida grant: $100,000 to create “A Competency-Based Manual for Florida’s Supervised Visitation Providers”
- Created “The Family Visitation Times” – The first and only newsletter for supervised visitation providers
- Davis Productivity Award given to Dr. Sharon Maxwell and Karen Oehme for outstanding service to taxpaying citizens
- Opened The Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation, the flagship program of the Institute, directed by Karen Oehme, J.D.
- Created “The Bar and Bench Visitation Report” – The first and only newsletter for the legal system on supervised visitation issues
- Received grant from the US Department of Justice – Office of Violence Against Women to developed DV training manuals and workshops for human service professionals such as elder services staff and WIC personnel
- Developed a curriculum for family practice residents with TMRMC
- Published “Florida’s Domestic Violence Needs Assessment 2000”
- Developed training materials and live workshops for animal abuse investigators and community mental health staff.
- Published the first of many law review articles on supervised visitation
- Converted all DV training manuals to online tutorials available free of charge worldwide.
- Created “The Law Enforcement Guide to Supervised Visitation”
- Published “Sexual Abuse Referrals to Supervised Visitation”
- Sponsored the Tallahassee Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
- Created new online tutorial funded by the US Dept of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women – “The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment”
- Published “A Toolkit for Collaboration between Florida’s Universities and Supervised Visitation Programs”
- Created Referrals to “Supervised Visitation Programs: A Manual for Judges” in manual and online versions. This is only the second on-line judge’s manual approved by the State Courts Administrator for continuing judicial education credit in FL.
- Established an online data collection system for Florida’s supervised visitation programs.
- Conducted a Pilot Program evaluation of supervised visitation services.
- Founding Director Dr. Sharon Maxwell retired from the University
- Dr. Wendy Crook appointed Director of the Institute
- Published “A Training Manual for Florida’s Supervised Visitation Programs,” issued with an accompanying CD-ROM containing Administrative Materials.
- Evaluated the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment live trainings for FCADV with a comparison to the Institute’s online tutorial.
- Evaluated the Legal Initiative on Domestic Violence for FCADV.
- Conducted research on the use of emergency contraception for rape victims in Florida emergency rooms.
- Three year contract awarded by DCF
- Created the “E-Press,” a monthly electronic newsletter for supervised visitation providers.
- Published the Institute’s first social work journal article: “Characteristics of supervised visitation programs serving child maltreatment and other cases.” Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention.
- The Clearinghouse received the Supervised Visitation Network’s Judith Wallach President’s Award from the Supervised Visitation network for Outstanding Service and Contribution to the Supervised Visitation Network.
- Dr. Crook retires; Karen Oehme is named Institute Director.
- Published the Report to the Florida Legislature: Recommendations of the Supervised Visitation Standards Committee
- Published Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Lessons from One State’s Experience, in Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, and Society
- Joined forces with law enforcement agencies throughout Florida, and developed the Law Enforcement Families Partnership, to reduce and prevent officer-involved domestic violence.
- Online Training – Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: A Prevention Curriculum, goes live. By 2011, over 25,000 criminal justice officers take at least one module of the Florida domestic violence curriculum.
- Zachary Summerlin, MSW is hired as a full-time Project Manager.
- The Institute announces the development of a new project: The Alliance for Faith-Based Efforts to End Domestic Violence.
- The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded a Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
- The Institute receives a grant from the federal Administration for Children and Families (within the Department of Health and Human Services) to develop a pilot program aimed at enhancing child support payments in low-income families.
- The Verizon Foundation supports the work of the Law Enforcement Families Partnership with a $50,000 grant.
- Karen Oehme is named a Florida State University “Distinguished University Scholar.”
- The Institute launches a new project, entitled “Financial Literacy and Community Sustainability.”
- The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded another Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
- The Verizon Foundation renews its support with an additional $50,000 grant.
- The Institute launches the Family Violence Journal Club within the College of Social Work and sponsors several community events to raise awareness about domestic violence.
- The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded another Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
- The Institute signs a 3 year contract with the Department of Children and Families to fund the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation.
- The Verizon Foundation renews its support for the Institute with an additional $50,000 grant.
- The Institute completes the “Financial Literacy and Community Sustainability” project.
- The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on The National Toolkit on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the 17th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma in San Diego, CA.
- The Verizon Foundation supports the online Toolkit “Screening for Domestic Violence: A Training for Medical Professionals” with a $90,000 grant.
- The Institute develops Florida State University’s Health Relationships Toolkit with a grant from Guy and Delores Spearman.
- The Institute began producing child welfare E-Books on the protective factors that sustain healthy families.
- The Institute hosts a visiting scholar, Agnes Muhongerwa, from Rwanda.
- The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on Screening for Domestic Violence by Medical Professionals at the 18th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma.
- Carly Starkey, MSW becomes the full-time Project Manager.
- The Institute completes the “Screening for Domestic Violence: A Training for Medical Professionals.”
- The Verizon Foundation continues its support for the Institute’s Law Enforcement Families Partnership with a $25,000 grant. More than 20,000 officers in the U. S. have now taken the national version of the online prevention training.
- The Institute finishes development of the Protective Factors E-Books and trains supervised visitation programs on them.
- Working with undergraduate students, the Institute launches a Social Media E Book. Our online presence is prominent.
- The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on New Strategies to Prevent Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the Council of Governments Meeting in Washington, D.C.
- The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on Lessons from the National Prevention Toolkit on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the 19th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma.
- Thallia Malespin, MSW is hired as the new full time Project Manager.
- The Institute signed a new 3-year contract with the Department of Children and Families to fund the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation.
- The Institute welcomed former Dean of the FSU College of Social Work, Nick Mazza, Ph.D., to the Community Advisory Board.
- The Institute began development of a new and updated training manual for supervised visitation providers. The manual will include 14 chapters relevant to supervised visitation.
- Joining campus initiatives, the Institute has become a member of the Coordinated Community Response Team to address prevention efforts for power-based personal violence.
- The Institute created a new focus on female law enforcement officers as part of the LEFP and produced “A Guide for Campus Law Enforcement Agencies: How to Recruit Female Officers.”
- As part of the Women in Law Enforcement Project, The Institute has collaborated with Chief of FSUPD, David Perry, to create a recruitment video for female law enforcement officers at FSU.
- The Institute launches the interdisciplinary “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” Toolkit project with a $250,000 gift from the Vandermark Foundation. The College of Communication and Information and the College of Education are our partners.
- The “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” Toolkit was approved for continuing legal education credits, continuing education units for mental health professionals, and has also been approved as a parent education and family stabilization course in Florida.
- The Institute partnered with the Office of Distance Learning to produce a Blackboard Training that would be available for free to all service providers. The training is titled “Understanding Domestic Violence as a Social Services Professional and provides continuing education units for mental health professionals in the state of Florida.
- In 2015, Director Karen Oehme published the following: Donnelly, E., Valentine, C., & Oehme, K. (2015). Law enforcement officers and employee assistance programs. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(2), pp. 206 – 220. Oehme, K., Stern, N., & Mennicke, A. (2015). A deficiency in addressing campus sexual assault: The lack of women law enforcement officers. Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, 38, 401.
- Karen Oehme presented at the 24th Annual Supervised Visitation Network Conference in Clearwater, FL to discuss the six protective factors to strengthen vulnerable families.
- Karen Oehme presented at the End Violence Against Women International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Campus Responses in New Orleans, LA to discuss officer-involved domestic violence.