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When they talk about CASA or the project, Deb and Elizabeth use the words “we, our, or us,” not “them or they.”
Deb and Elizabeth are part of CASA because they understand us. They get it.
Lots of people study domestic violence, but they were the first researchers interested in us, the workers. We felt validated because university researchers thought what we did was important, and they asked us to help them understand our work.
They didn’t lecture us; they listened to us.

These are some of the staff’s observations about our participation in the University Community Initiative Project (UCI), a grant-funded research collaboration between Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) and the University of South Florida’s (USF) Communication and Sociology Departments. CASA is a community service organization located in St. Petersburg, Florida that advocates for victims and survivors of domestic violence by providing both emergency assistance and long-term support. USF is a large, metropolitan, state-supported university that seeks to connect with its surrounding community by forging partnerships designed to assist with social problems.


Published in L. Frey & M. C. Kevin (Eds.), Communication Activism (Vol. Two, pp. 345-367), NJ: Hampton Press.