NASW Represented on IOM Panel

Evelyn Tomaszewski, a senior policy associate at NASW, has been appointed to serve on the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention, launched over the summer.

According to the IOM, the forum will work to reduce violence worldwide by promoting research and encouraging evidence-based prevention efforts.

In 1996, the World Health Organization declared violence — including child abuse, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, gang violence and suicide — to be a leading worldwide public health problem, especially in developing countries.

“It’s such a great honor for me to be able to represent NASW and to bring greater visibility to social work’s role in efforts to reduce violence in communities around the globe,” said Tomaszewski, who began her social work career as an advocate and counselor at a domestic violence shelter.

Social workers Peggy Murray of the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Jane Isaacs Lowe of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also were appointed to the 25-member, multidisciplinary forum.

“In working with victims of violence, social workers aim to understand the root causes of violence and work toward positive change at the individual, community and systems levels,” Tomaszewski said.

The forum will convene at least two workshops bringing together various stakeholders, including experts and policymakers, to draw attention to critical issues and discuss potential solutions.

Tomaszewski said the first workshop, which will address violence against women and girls, comes as Congress prepares to debate reauthorization next year of the NASW-supported Violence Against Women Act.

NASW also supports passage of the International Violence Against Women Act of 2010, HR 4594/S 2982, introduced earlier this year. Among other things, the legislation provides for greater funding and resources to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls globally.

The second workshop will focus on the social and economic consequences of violence as well as opportunities for interventions.

Funding for the forum’s activities comes from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Justice, as well as several foundations and industries.

In related news, NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark was recently appointed to chair the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Patient Services Committee, and to co-chair C-Change’s Cancer Workforce Strategy Initiative. Clark has a background in oncology social work.

Also, Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of the NASW Foundation’s Social Work Policy Institute, just completed her first year as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Knowledge to Action Child Maltreatment Prevention Consortium, which works to assure that children are raised in safe, stable and nurturing environments by developing prevention strategies.

Get more information on the Forum on Global Violence Prevention.