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Luz Lopez Invited to Work with Hague Domestic Violence Project

SSW Professor Luz Lopez uses her language skills to help victims of domestic violence.

Luz Lopez, a School of Social Work assistant professor of clinical practice, is a consultant to the Hague Domestic Violence Project, a study on domestic abuse victims from around the world who have fled with their children to the United States and have been charged with kidnapping under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.

The aim of the study, affiliated with the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota schools of social work and funded by the National Institute of Justice, is to understand the situations of these women. The findings will be used to create a guide that will help judges and attorneys recognize domestic violence in Hague cases so they can respond and better ensure that the mothers and children are safe and that the women receive justice. Lopez will interview Spanish-speaking women to further understanding of cultural differences.

“I think it’s an important contribution to the field, and I think there are many cases when women are misunderstood and penalized,” Lopez says.  “I am interested in international work, and this was right up my alley.”

Lopez has previous experience working with domestic abuse. She coordinated trauma and mental health interventions in five of Boston’s substance abuse treatment sites that focused on services for Latina and African-American women, a five-year program funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.