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University of Iowa News Release

April 23, 2004

Susan Schechter's Life, Work Honored With National Crime Victim Service Award

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Attorney General John Ashcroft has recognized the work of the late Susan Schechter, clinical professor of social work in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a posthumous Crime Victim Service Award. The award was announced as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (April 18 to 24) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Justice Programs' Office for Victims of Crime.

Schechter, who died in February of endometrial cancer, was one of 13 people nationwide to be recognized April 22 at a special ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act.

"These men and women we are honoring today epitomize the efforts everyone in the justice and victims' rights community is undertaking every day to see justice done," Ashcroft said in presenting the awards. "We are bound by commitment, to do what is needed to fulfill the promise of justice to crime victims. May our resolve to fulfill the promise of justice remain as strong and as unwavering as the commitment we have witnessed from those we honor today."

Schechter joined the faculty in the UI School of Social Work in 1991. Over the years, through her work and writing, she focused on the intersecting problems of domestic violence, child abuse, poverty and substance abuse.

As a pioneer of the battered women's movement, Schechter helped to change the way criminal justice and social service agencies respond to violence against women and children. She gained national recognition in 1982 through her groundbreaking work, "Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement," a chronicle of the early history of the domestic violence movement. She was the author or co-author of many publications, including "When Love Goes Wrong" (1992) and "Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment," known as "the Greenbook," which serves as a roadmap for child abuse and domestic violence professionals throughout the country who develop programs that serve children and their mothers.

In 1986, she developed AWAKE, (Advocacy for Women and Kids in Emergencies) at Children's Hospital, Boston, which was the first program in a pediatric hospital for battered women with abused children. She also served as a consultant to several national domestic violence and child welfare initiatives and as a member of the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. She wrote national curricula on domestic violence and trained thousands of students, social workers, judges and health care professionals in their implementation.

She won the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare in 2003, among other honors, and was a member of the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. The University of Iowa Celebration of Excellence Among Women awarded her its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002.

"Amid all these national awards and accolades, those who knew her best remember the positive way in which Susan touched the lives of those around her, which was among her greatest gifts," said Salome Raheim, director of the UI School of Social Work. "Susan was a remarkable person, thoughtful and good-hearted. Many individuals from diverse fields were fortunate to call her a mentor and friend. Her leadership, warmth, humor, wisdom, and passionate advocacy are sorely missed."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: Joan LaRocca, U.S. Department of Justice, 202-307-070, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov