Students come from around the country and the world to participate in the Program on Domestic Violence (PDV), which combines online offerings with weeklong “intensives” twice per year in Denver. Students may be:
- Domestic violence practitioners — advocates, counselors, activists, social workers, and other victims’ services and domestic violence workers — who seek to enhance their management and policy skills.
- Managers in related fields who seek to gain an understanding of domestic violence and the policies, services, and public consciousness surrounding it.
- Professionals interested in making a career change
- Recent college graduates interested in entering the field of domestic violence
- Over 125 students and twelve cohorts enrolled in the Program on Domestic Violence since its inception in 2000.
- 10-20 new students are admitted each year
- 24% of students are people of color, 65% are survivors, and 95% are female
- 70% of students reside outside of Colorado
Feedback received from students who have graduated from the program has been overwhelmingly positive. Satisfaction surveys have repeatedly produced scores of very good to excellent. More importantly, outcome evaluations conducted with students indicate increased confidence in a series of 15 skill and knowledge areas regarding domestic violence management and policy by an average of two grade levels per student.
Ruth Glen's story
Ruth Glenn often used to ask herself why she was left to live. After enduring 13 years of horrific abuse, her husband took out a gun and shot her multiple times - leaving her on the pavement to die. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but I think I lived so that nobody else has to go through what I did.” Ruth credits the Program on Domestic Violence (PDV) for providing the vehicle she needed to make a difference in the lives of battered women. “The program at UCD opened up the world to me and exposed me to a huge diversity of people and perspectives,” says Ruth, adding that other academic environments didn’t provide the same exposure.
Ruth entered the program in 2003 and enjoyed the challenge of post-graduate work. While there she was able to blossom, heal from her past abuse, and graduate in just 18 months. But the benefits of the PDV didn’t stop there. Ruth says that for anybody serious about a career path in domestic violence, a higher-ed degree is necessary. “Career-wise it really helped me get my dream job,” she says. Ruth is now the Director of the Domestic Violence Program at the Colorado Department of Human Services, which is a job that allows her to help the state of Colorado create policies to better support victims and hold offenders accountable.
With people such as Ruth, the Center on Domestic Violence is responding to a nationally recognized need to educate and train individuals as leaders in the movement to end violence against women.