Candace Burton

Candace Burton received her PhD in Nursing Research in 2010 from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Burton’s research interests are in relationship or intimate partner violence and the long term effects thereof in women’s live. Dr. Burton studies this in the context of adolescent and young adult health from a biobehavioral perspective, including exploration of genetic and epigenetic data, mental health, reproductive and sexual health, gender, and sexuality.

UCI Sue & Bill Gross faculty member Dr. Candace Burton was a guest panelist at a recent UCI Law School event entitled: “Beyond Criminalization: Public Health, Human Rights, Economic, and Community Responses to Domestic Violence.” The event was sponsored by the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence.

The discussion centered around a book recently published by the University of California Press, Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence, by Leigh Goodmark, a professor at Maryland Carey Law School and authority on the issue of domestic violence and the law. The SON’s Dr. Burton was invited to provide the public health-oriented response to Ms. Goodmark’s presentation. Ms. Goodmark argues that the legal system has proven to provide poor remedies to intimate partner violence (IPV), also known as domestic violence, and that those who are working to end violence against women should reconsider the legal system as the primary means of remediating the problem. Dr. Burton talked about the work she has done with formerly abused women, and demonstrated that their health is affected across multiple domains and for years after the experience of abuse. Dr. Burton also described how a lack of trauma-informed practices in the legal system can compound the trauma that survivors of violence experience and intensify stress, which in turn contributes to poor health outcomes.

The event and panel discussion concluded with a group brainstorm between all participants–the panel and audience–about how to shift the focus of their work towards achieving justice for survivors. Topics included batterer remediation, restorative justice, trauma-informed judiciary practices, and community-based interventions such as healthy relationship education. “I think it was important for me to be there because there was no other scientific perspective on IPV presented,” says Dr. Burton. “It is important for the public to know that nurses’ research encompasses health and care beyond the acute care setting, and that we need to work across disciplines to ensure that all the aspects of issues that affect our patients’ health are accounted for.”

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