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Professor recognized for work on domestic abuse

Social Work Professor Catherine Marrs Fuchsel
Social Work Professor Catherine Marrs Fuchsel
Rebecca Zenefski 10

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, St. Kate’s assistant professor of social work, is the faculty recipient for the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women’s 2010–11 Research and Creative Work on Women Award.

The annual Women’s Research and Creative Work on Women Award is presented in four categories — faculty/staff, undergraduate and graduate student, and alumnae — for “outstanding research or creative work focusing on women and/or issues relevant to women.”

Marrs Fuchsel will read from her winning manuscript, “Immigrant Mexican Women and Domestic Violence: Developing a Prevention Model,” at the award ceremony on April 27. The event, which also honors the winners of the student and alumnae categories, will be held 4–6:30 p.m. in Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine, on the University's St. Paul campus.

“I’m really excited and humbled by the award,” Marrs Fuchsel says. “It acknowledges the work that I’ve been doing to give voice to women, especially immigrant Mexican women, who have been victims of domestic violence. Hopefully, with this prevention model, we can eliminate the abuse of the vulnerable and oppressed.”

The theoretical prevention model in its current state is an idea that Marrs Fuchsel developed from the findings of her Ph.D. dissertation. The hope is for this proposed idea to be tested in future studies — in the context of a support group for women — throughout Minnesota.

Recently, Marrs Fuchsel met with Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona to discuss the possibility of sharing her research with the community’s Hispanic population.

“Bishop Quinn was open and receptive to the idea of the prevention model,” she says, “and he approved that I could begin the support group in a local parish in Rochester.”

Marrs Fuchsel will also soon begin volunteering her time as a domestic violence consultant for clergy and pastoral staff in several parishes across the diocese. In the near future, she hopes to offer domestic violence workshops for the greater community.

The Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work is currently reviewing Marrs Fuchsel’s prevention model manuscript for publication. Another study, “The Catholic Church as a support for Immigrant Mexican Women living with Domestic Volience,” is being reviewed by the Social Work and Christianity journal.

More information

Read about Catherine Marrs Fuchsel work in “Eye on Women” in SCAN October 2010. (Also, scroll to subhead “The battered woman” for more details.)

April 26, 2011 by Pauline Oo

See also: Catholic Identity, Healthcare, Social Justice