Emergency Room Doctor Provides Unique Insight during Women’s History Month

Friday, April 5, 2013

As part of Women’s History Month in March, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion held an event to raise awareness about the impact of violence against women in a presentation titled “Violence Against Women: Translating a Health Provider’s Perspective to Societal Implications.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Debra Houry, an emergency room doctor at Grady Hospital in Atlanta and associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.

The event opened with a welcome address by McKenzie Walker, a UWG peer educator, which was followed by a performance of the classic poem “Ain’t I Woman” by Carine Lafortune, a junior Philosophy major. In her presentation, Houry spoke to the audience about her efforts to combat domestic violence against women through her research as well as emergency room campaigns.

A question-and-answer panel followed the presentation. The panel included students, university staff and Carrollton community staff. Panel members answered questions from the audience concerning the short and long-term effects of domestic violence on women, as well as men and children. They emphasized that many victims of domestic violence find it difficult to seek help out of fear, and that victims have different responses to domestic violence.

“Many domestic violence victims refuse to come forward because they fear for their lives or the lives of their children,” said Houry. “Men are expected to be stronger, so revealing that they are victims of domestic violence might be embarrassing for them and many of them do not speak up,” added panel member Victoria Bambo, a senior sociology major and women’s studies minor at UWG.

The panel members stressed that there are many resources available for people who might be victims of domestic violence. UWG campus resources include Health Services and numerous peer educators. There are also community resources such as the Carroll Emergency Center, which is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and the West Georgia Rape Crisis Center.