ISWA’s Head of Science Awarded PhD
Our very own Dr. Simonetta Cavilli graduated with a PhD in Public Health
Disclaimer: The following article discusses Intimate Partner Violence and abusive relationships. Please read it with caution.
On Monday, 3rd September, 2018, our very own Dr. Simonetta Cavilli, the Head of Science and STEM at The International School of Western Australia, graduated with her PhD in Public Health from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Her thesis was entitled ‘Beyond Survivor: The Reconstruction of Self following Intimate Partner Violence’ (IPV). It describes the results of her research analysing the narratives of 29 Australian women who have endured IPV, and their subsequent process of recovery. She also included her recommendations for a multidisciplinary approach to recovery from IPV.
In her thesis, Dr. Cavilli explained that her interest in the topic stemmed from the increasing number of Australian women and children suffering IPV in their family homes. ‘Although my academic and professional background is predominately within the pure sciences, I have always been interested in the behavioural sciences. During my employment as an Experimental Sciences educator, I became increasingly interested in neuroscience, psychology and human behaviour.’
When asked about her research process, Dr. Cavilli said, ‘Although the research process was, at times, incredibly difficult, I felt I needed to address the misconceptions and questions surrounding IPV in an Australian context. I wanted to present the main factors which assist in the aftermath of an abusive relationship.’
Dr. Cavilli believes that addressing a gap in the literature, coupled with her personal and professional experiences, highlights the need for further research and evidence on the well-being of victims of IPV in the future. ‘One of the most rewarding aspects of my research was being able to develop a model that can be adopted and taught, beginning with young adults, which aims to educate them about respectful relationships and assist with the development of a strong and independent identity.’