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U of M expert raises awareness of public health impact of violence against women

Sen. Al Franken stands with Cari Clark after the Violence Against Women Act press conference.

Cari Clark, Sc.D., M.P.H., never sought out to be a crusader for women’s health. However, her work has positioned her as a true champion for women’s health as she’s advanced an understanding around the public health impact that violence against women has on our society in the U.S. and abroad.

In early April, Clark, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and adjunct assistant professor in the School of Public Health, presented the public health impact of violence against women at a press conference convened by U.S. Senator Al Franken and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau to support the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

The bill provides funding for victim services, law enforcement, and violence prevention. Importantly the bill also supports research on the health effects of violence against women, the impact of violence on the health sector, and improvements in the health sector’s response to violence victimization.

“Intimate partner violence affects more than one in three women and one in four men, and the violence has significant health consequences. However, intimate partner violence is most often not identified in the health sector,” said Clark.

In late April, Clark was also a part of a panel presentation at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. that discussed the maternal health impact of violence against women with a focus on Middle Eastern women.

Clark’s research has shown that violence against women can have immediate and lifelong health implications and her goals are to help shift health policies and practices.

“Violence is an issue that has both health implications and social roots. By collaborating with individuals and organizations that provide health or social services we’re able to make our research efforts immediately useful to the care that individuals receive,” concluded Clark.

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