FHSU launches Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence

FHSU press release
Top left to right: Dr. Hsin-Yen Yang (Communication Studies); Dr. April Terry (Criminal Justice); Dr. Tamara Lynn (Criminal Justice); Dr. Rachel Dolechek (Applied Business Studies).

Bottom left to right: Dr. Morgan Steele (Criminal Justice); Dr. Ziwei Qi (Criminal Justice); Dr. Christy Craig (Sociology)

The Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence is a regional hub of collaborative research and service, housed in the Department of Criminal Justice at Fort Hays State University.

In 2018, Dr. Ziwei Qi of Criminal Justice and Dr. Hsin-Yen Yang of Communication Studies were selected as entrepreneurship faculty fellows by the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Provost's Office at Fort Hays State University. This fellowship supports Drs. Qi and Yang in pursuing their innovative approaches in empowering survivors of gender-based violence from rural communities to gain economic independence and long-term security.

Drs. Qi and Yang’s initiative addressed the importance of social entrepreneurship, safe housing, employment, counseling, and healthcare for survivors' financial freedom and social justice. With the support from the Departments of Criminal Justice, Communication Studies, Sociology, and Art and Design, in March 2020, the Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence (CEVGV) was established and housed in the Department of Criminal Justice.

Dr. Tamara Lynn, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, became the Center's third co-founder alongside Drs. Qi and Yang. The Center recently welcomed four senior research consultants, Dr. Christy Craig of Sociology and Drs. Morgan Steele and April Terry of Criminal Justice, and Dr. Rachel Dolechek of Applied Business Studies, who will provide research and policy recommendations on gender-based violence in the rural community. The Center also has two undergraduate research assistants, Brandi Hanson and Cristina Jimenez, and one graduate research assistant, Viviana Lizarraga.

The Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence aims to reduce the constraints survivors face, promote freedom of economic independence, and empower survivors to pursue opportunities freely. It commits to providing sustainable support and improvement to help survivors break the cycle of violence and transform themselves from victims/survivors to social entrepreneurs.

The Center facilitates cross-disciplinary research and collaborative networks researchers use to apply evidence-based approaches and investigate best practices addressing gender-based violence in rural communities.

The Center establishes and develops academic-community collaborations through service-learning, research, assessment, and educational opportunities and policy recommendations that enhance the well-being of rural communities. To learn more about the Center, please check out the official webpage at https://www.fhsu.edu/criminaljustice/center-for-empowering-victims-of-gender-based-violence.