Dr. Sherry Hamby to serve on Expert Panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Sherry Hamby, Research Associate Professor of Psychology, will be among the fifteen members of the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Sexual Violence (SV) Definitions Reconciliation Expert Panel that meets in Atlanta October 12–14.  The group is being assembled by the Division of Violence Prevention, part of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). NCIPC is one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the late 1990's through 2001, the NCIPC's Division of Violence Prevention convened a series of expert panels to develop recommendations for standardized uniform definitions and data elements for public health surveillance of IPV and SV. As a result, two documents were published – Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements (1999) and Sexual Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements (2002).

When the SV definitions document was published, it included information regarding the differences between the two documents, and recommended that the two documents be reconciled to address these inconsistencies. For example, the Intimate Partner Violence document classifies a "date" as an intimate partner while the Sexual Violence document classifies a "date" as a friend/acquaintance.

In assembling this Reconciliation Expert Panel, the Division of Violence Prevention observed that advancements in the fields of IPV and SV necessitate a reexamination of some of the decisions made at the time both definitions documents were developed. For example, the SV document does not address sexual coercion and its relation to Sexual Violence. The IPV document does not address stalking even though research suggests that stalking is an identifiable type of Intimate Partner Violence. The Definitions Reconciliation Expert Panel will work to resolve these and other issues within each document and then reconcile the two documents.

Dr. Hamby’s scholarship focuses on the methodological and measurement challenges of violence research and cross-cultural issues in measuring and intervening for violence. She is the Editor for a new journal, Psychology of Violence, published by the American Psychological Association.