From left to right: Dr. Geoffrey Cox, Dr. Robert Geffner, and Dr. Joyce Yen Feng.
The US-based Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) at Alliant International University and the National Taiwan University (NTU) Children and Family Research Center announce a first-ever international partnership to support the end of violence and abuse in their respective countries and across the world. The partnership includes academic, research and training collaborations, with a special emphasis on forensic interviewing and evaluation of children in physical and sexual abuse cases.
This important partnership was marked by the signing of an official memorandum of understanding between the two institutions on January 5, 2015 on the San Diego campus of Alliant International University. Dr. Geoffrey Cox, president of Alliant International University, Dr. Robert Geffner, president of IVAT, and Dr. Joyce Yen Feng, minister without portfolio and advisory committee member of the NTU Children and Family Research Center were on hand to officiate the signing. The event was followed by a tour of IVAT’s Mock House, a training facility located on the Alliant campus that simulates a two bedroom, one bath house designed to enhance hands-on training of forensic interviewers, investigators and prosecutors involved in child abuse cases.
Facilities and exercises like the Mock House are a key point of collaboration between IVAT and NTU in their shared goal to reduce the suffering of victims of child abuse during the legal process and investigation by helping legal professionals to better conduct appropriate and effective forensic interviews with children. IVAT is a well-regarded leader in this arena -- expertise that will assist NTU in the development of training protocol and standards for prosecutors, policy makers and social workers in Taiwan, where forensic interviewers do not currently exist within the system.
Planned collaborations include research activities, joint publications and editorial responsibilities in scientific journals, and shared academic and professional training events, as well as speaking engagements by IVAT’s Dr. Geffner and NTU’s Dr. April Shen. Shen, a recently appointed distinguished fellow for IVAT, will serve as keynote speaker at NTU’s international conference in November and is on the planning committee for the 20th International Summit on Violence, Abuse and Trauma hosted by IVAT in August in San Diego.