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Appendices - Evaluation Comments

What follows is a compilation of comments, in no particular order, submitted on evaluation forms at the conclusion of the conference.

This was a good idea. See lots of energy. Maybe repeat periodically with rotated or shared funding. John Rioux (DOL) 624-6442,

Great networking opportunity. Lots of great ideas for research projects. A lot of dedicated professionals willing to stomp out domestic violence and sexual assault.

Did not get the chance to hear the keynote but attended both breakout sessions. It was very helpful to have academic and service providers in the same environment to share knowledge. Let’s hope lots of great work comes out of this day.

Thank you for the opportunity to have the conversations that occurred today. The tribal programs in particular had an awesome meeting in the afternoon that opened some doors that we perceived as closed. Having Sarah Deer here and giving light to the issue of domestic violence research in Indian country.

Nice comfortable setting, yummy food, very well organized. Excellent keynotes, maybe next time we could use local (state) domestic violence experts as well. Notes at the end didn’t reflect the conversation as I remember it. Wish there was more time in the group to reach agreement; mainly it was brainstorming (at this point).

This was an extremely beneficial conversation, in that it demonstrated the need for us to engage in these conversations, in order to come up with the research questions that are necessary in order to continue the “good work”. I consider myself primarily a field practitioner, and I am always enlightened and challenged by the questions researchers present…bringing us back to the research questions. Excellent!

Enjoyed selection of food! Especially the soup! It was a great change from the usual offerings at conferences of bulkie rolls, meat selections, and pasta and green salads. Speakers, except Steve Rowe and two keynotes were pretty bad – even if you’re nervous and/or don’t know what you’re, doing fake it. Good cross section from the state represented. Domestic violence continues to overshadow sexual assault issues and needs. Organizers could assist to keep sexual assault issues from being lost in discussions.

I enjoyed both keynote speakers. The breakout groups were informative, but I think it could have been more effective to have specific goals posted. Thank you. Great food.

Excellent discussion, I had the chance to network in a useful way. Aging is such an important topic. Future offerings could focus on subpopulations: children, teens, adults, older adults, cultural groups, etc.

Good discussion, good topics. First opportunity to bring different players together and talk about what we know, don’t know, would like to know. Great food and facility. Very good keynote speakers. Breakout groups a little too large; discussion could have been better focused on what is “research” and what are our research priorities. But, really, a very good first conference on this issue and I would support another. It would be beneficial, if there is another, to share the Maine research and feature Maine researchers. We have some very well regarded of both.

Denise Lord, Department of Corrections

Thank you for putting together a useful and interesting conference. Both Vera Mouradian and Sarah Deer shared information that was not only engaging, but also applies to my work. Also, the mix of disciplines in regard to the participants was well thought out, yet I believe CPS workers were not present – perhaps I’m wrong. The space is comfortable and the food was appetizing. I look forward to the minutes captured from the breakout sessions and would like a contact list. Another request is to receive Steven Rowe’s notes, which includes the stats he shared. I’m wondering if it is possible to receive a video copy of the day? Thank you.          Gretchen Ziemer

I enjoyed the conference and thank you for coordinating it. It was so important to talk with researchers and providers and others – all together and in one place – as we grappled with the complicated and critical issues about research and violence against women. In particular I appreciated talking about the often confusing topic of Offender Accountability. Clearly we need to have some “standard” definitions for accountability, success, effectiveness and recidivism. We struggled with research questions – and such an important struggle it was (is!). Are there “types” of batterers such that programs should be more tailored to meet their unique needs? What are the criminal risk factors of abuse and accountability? Can research about criminal offenders be transferable (e.g. sex offenders®domestic violence offenders?). How do cultural beliefs about violence affect accountability? Does awareness plus acceptance plus action really equal change? We still have so much work to do! I hope this conference is the first of many opportunities for all of us to be represented at future tables of discussion. Thanks for putting this in motion.

Cathleen Dunlap, Director, Menswork

This conference helped me to feel less isolated in my work as an instructor in a domestic violence education program. It was good to hear others, as well as researchers, in this work grappling with definitions, concepts, generalizations, extrapolations from data, experience, anecdotal information, etc. It was also good to hear snippets of research that is being conducted currently. It was not clear from the printed material if the breakout groups were sequential and I was supposed to stay with my first breakout group for the second session. I am glad that I chose the group on Offender Accountability but would have liked to attend another as well (would this require a two-day conference, or longer?). It was useful to hear reiterated some of the facts which we know but do not hear repeated enough – i.e. we serve only the “tip of the iceberg” of abusers. It was also helpful to find out more about elder abuse, abuse of children, rural issues, abuse in nursing homes, human trafficking, workplace abuse, etc. The idea of a guaranteed living wage for women who are victims of domestic abuse was very interesting to me. It was inspiring to see so many people who are so passionately dedicated to tackling a problem which seems so overwhelming, so huge.           Wells R. Staley, Opportunity for Change

Excellent opportunity to have a conversation among practitioners, policy makers and researchers. Perhaps a second meeting to identify specific issues and work groups – more goal focused.

Great conference, showed we need more communication and cooperation. Could there be a conference that involves all systems; court, police, D.A., victims services, etc. Study of cultures and responses to domestic violence and sexual abuse. Task force, participation, how to make it work, keep interest alive by being task oriented. Public service campaign: to educate the public as to the many forms of domestic abuse; verbal, emotional, financial, male privilege, etc.

As a Native woman I especially appreciated the opportunity to network with Native women from other Maine communities who are involved in domestic violence work. I was also very happy to hear Sarah Deer make points regarding the special needs of Native women who may ask for services in non-Native communities. The snacks were great!

The major accomplishment of this conference was creating the forum for major stake-holders to talk with each other. Such an occasion rarely, if ever, occurs. The opportunity shed light on the fact that our collective experience in the field is both a blessing and a curse. It can be a curse because of professional ego. The need for Maine research was very apparent. The conference site and amenities were very conducive to serious discussion. The facilitators were very skillful.

This was very important work. Work that needs to be continued. More clarity on specific research questions is necessary, particularly in the subgroup of offender accountability.

Katey Waitt, Charlotte White Center

Really great way to bring practice and academic together.

Greatly enjoyed the whole day. I attended both sessions on accountability and learned a great deal due to the diversity of attendees. Both sessions spoke about research and/or programs and the need for additional cooperation from all areas of concern. These were both vertical and horizontal links. The concerns for victims and the children were also addressed.

Alan Kaplan, Time For Change, Rockland

Good first step. Exciting notion to study prevalence of different types of IPV and SA in Maine. Different communities, different attitudes. This was not what I expected it would be.

I do appreciate the opportunity to come together with the academic community and formulate research questions. I found that we were better able to accomplish this in the preventions group this morning than in the offender accountability group this afternoon. I am very interested in being involved in research pertaining to our prevention programming.

Cynthia Cyr, Womancare, 564-8165,

Genuinely appreciate that a tribal perspective was included in the keynotes. This was validation at its best! Very interesting; a great opportunity to have conversations with others as we collectively consider the directions our work may follow.

Nancy Lewey Passamaquaddy, Pleasant Point, Peaceful Relations

Very pleased to have a forum to express native views, concerns and suggestions. A tribal domestic violence coalition has been formed. Information was exchanged for grant writing for a stand-alone domestic violence advocate position in tribes.

Very useful method to meet and interact with folks similarly involved in issues related to domestic violence but in different contexts. Useful, too, as it permitted a variety of different perspectives. Very good collaborative undertaking. How could it have been even better? – E-mail addresses for attendees.

This was a stupendously organized gathering of people (and disciplines) who rarely get a chance to speak with each other in this way! I hope this work and these conversations can continue. Thank you!                   Sue Bradford, Spruce Run

Accommodations – excellent; Breakouts – hard to hear in McIntire with two small groups; Presentations – excellent; Format – excellent; Interactivity – excellent, Focus of research application – excellent; also, nice food.        R. Koodley

Wish you had had contact info for participants. Morning session on offender accountability was dominated by BIP’s and facilitator, did not focus discussion on research. Broader, non-research issues took over. Could facilitators be more focused on theme of conference and keep discussion on track? Effective format. Great speakers. Good people. Very good representation of practitioners. Wish there had been more experienced researchers. Thank you so much for your wonderful effort. Karen Monahan

Conference was quite helpful for finding out about research needs in the state. I hope the conversation that began today will continue.

I hope there will be a mechanism to disseminate notes from breakout groups and next steps. Along that line I would love to have a copy of the attorney general’s speech and/or the source for the statistics he quoted. It would be great to have e-mail and phone numbers of conference participants to foster further networking. A little confusion with logistics on where afternoon breakout groups would meet, but then again I like musical chairs, seriously, I do. I wonder if there is value to having the afternoon session build upon the morning discussion w/ the morning group continuing the conversation/brainstorming to then prioritize, and next steps.

It was a great forum to discuss needs and resources. The facility was great for presenters and groups. The staff was organized. I look forward to what develops based on the energy begun today.

A very enjoyable and informative conference. In the future, more emphasis needs to be placed on sexual assault and related issues. Domestic violence tended to dominate just a bit too much. I hope that there is a follow-up conference in 2006 or 2007. Thank you, job well done.

Great cross section of folks. Please! We need to do this every 6 months; need to create ways to continue the discussion relationship building; ways to cooperate and collaborate. I don’t want this to be just another nice day but rather a first step toward comprehensive Maine-based research. The soup at lunch was fabulous! Need to create statewide infrastructure to continue the work.

Awesome cross section of concerned organizations. Attended both sessions on offender accountability and was surprised how different the two sessions were. Research: impact of BIPs on victims’ safety as an indirect measure of “success” of BIP and its outcome.

Vera Mouradian – her keynote was very informative and her presentation excellent

Sarah Deer – gave some very helpful info

Victims services group was encouraging and helpful. Prevention a bit frustrating because so little has apparently happened that it was difficult to see where we go from here.

I missed the morning session, but was glad to attend the luncheon address and attended one afternoon break out session. Intellectually stimulating and inspirational to be among service providers, policy makers, and researchers/ academics in a comfortable environment, plus sharing experiences, puzzles, ideas. Especially important to build upon the relentless work of thirty plus years by grassroots advocates and to conduct research that is useful in their work.

There was a lot of energy here today. I think it will be helpful to figure out what’s realistic. E.g. what do people find most compelling/urgent in relation to themes you generate?

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