Tarleton professor to speak at domestic abuse awareness conference


STEPHENVILLE (April 24, 2017) — Dr. Cessna Winslow, an assistant professor in the Communication Studies Department at Tarleton State University, will be the featured speaker at TOGETHER! Engaging Women–Empowering Girls April 29 in St. Louis, Mo.

The event is hosted by Safe Connections, an organization that works to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence while helping survivors reclaim their lives.

In her speech, “From Oblivious to Informed: The Role of Strategic Communication in Domestic Abuse Awareness,” Winslow draws on her role as an educator while sharing her experience as a domestic abuse survivor. She will educate attendees on the myths and characteristics of domestic abuse while also challenging them to be proactive in combatting the problem.

Winslow said she always thought to be a victim of domestic abuse one had to have physical injuries.

Dr. Cessna Winslow

“In my mind, verbal and emotional assaults were character flaws, not abuse. I did not understand that emotional abuse, verbal abuse, financial abuse and medical neglect are forms of domestic violence,” she explained. “Those are control behaviors. Abusers use control to bully their victims and break them into complete submission. That breaking is not limited to physical violence, but it often leads there.”

While working with students on college campuses, Winslow has recognized the need for women to be educated on the characteristics of abuse. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

Winslow’s passion is to empower that age group to become aware of domestic violence and work to end it.

Winslow joined the Tarleton faculty in 2015 and teaches in the Public Relations and Event Management (PREM) emphasis. Her research interests include assessing students’ understanding of domestic violence.

The mission of Safe Connections is to reduce the impact and incidence of relationship violence and sexual assault through education, crisis intervention, counseling and support services. More information is available at https://safeconnections.org.

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