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The Intersectionality of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Substance Abuse- Dawn Farm Education Series

October 18 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

There is a strong correlation between domestic violence/sexual assault and alcohol/other drug use – and correlation does not equal cause/effect nor does it define personal responsibility. Intoxication does not excuse a perpetrator nor justify a person being assaulted or abused. Domestic violence/sexual assault offender and survivor alcohol and other drug use/abuse will be central to this discussion.  The audience will be provided with a primmer regarding perpetrator tactics, strategies, and core beliefs which hold the perpetrator accountable for abusive/assaultive behaviors while maintaining and promoting survivor safety. The program will help participants to recognize the critical importance of understanding the relationship between domestic violence/sexual assault and alcohol/other drug use/abuse in order to safely and effectively intervene and/or interrupt the perpetrator’s behaviors and support the survivor.


Slidecast 2015:

Audio 2015: Audio Link

About the presenters:

David J.H. Garvin, LMSW.


David Garvin is the Chief Operating Officer of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County and Founder and former Director of the Alternatives to Domestic Aggression, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. David received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University in 1983 and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University in 1986. He was appointed to Chief Operating Officer of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County in November 2011. Prior to this and for many years David served as the senior director of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. During this tenure he was responsible for the management of the Alternatives to Domestic Aggression Program, served as the clinical director for the Behavioral Health Services and Substance Abuse Treatment Services programs, as well as program manager for the Supervised Parenting and Exchange Program and the Adoption and Pregnancy Programs of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County.

David has been featured on local, regional and national television, as well as highlighted in newspapers, magazines and social work publications for his work in batterer intervention. He is a founding member of the Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan (BISC-MI) and served as Co-chair for the first three years of the organization’s history.

Barbara Niess May, MPA, MSW.


Barbara Niess May is the Executive Director of SafeHouse Center, a supportive service and social action agency which provides help to approximately 5000 Washtenaw County residents who are impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault annually through its 50 bed emergency shelter and its counseling and advocacy programs. Barbara has worked toward supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence since 1996 in various micro- and macro-system capacities. This has included agency management as well as state-wide level advocacy and support. In addition to these activities, Barbara has also been very involved in legislative work and has provided expert testimony in a variety of venues, including various levels of court and at the state and federal legislative level. She is also involved in her community in a variety of ways as a member of Rotary International, and as an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. Barbara has served on several boards and committees, is a member of several national honor fraternities and is active in her church. Barbara holds two master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, one in Public Administration and one in Social Work.


October 18
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


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