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Dr. CarolAnn Peterson


About Me

After working for 5 years, some of those years working on political campaigns… including Women Running Against Reagan (working for the National Organization for Women on the Mondale/Ferraro campaign), I became the registered lobbyist for the California Federation of Business and Professional Women. While working for the Federation, I worked with then State Legislator Lucille Roybal-Allard on one of the first spousal rape bills in the country. At the time, no one in Sacramento knew that I was a survivor of abuse. When it came time to bring the legislation to the first committee, I volunteered to tell my story. At the end of my testimony, there was one legislator who said he was sorry this happened to me but didn’t believe a husband raped a wife. I was so livid that when I returned to Los Angeles, I called the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council to ask what they did. They had just formed the Legislation Committee and I was asked to chair the committee. I had the good fortune to chair this committee for 6 years and work with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to pass legislation on behalf of battered women in California.Following this, I worked as a consultant on welfare reform for Los Angeles County. After two years in the position, I was asked by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (now Futures Without Violence) to work on welfare programs for victims of domestic violence at both the state and national level. I was privileged to work on this issue for 6 years. As the issue and contract was coming to an end, California passed legislation making it mandatory to have domestic violence classes in graduate schools of social work and psychology. I was then hired by the University of Southern California School of Social Work (now USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work). I have been an adjunct faculty member for 14 years and currently a Full-time Lecturer where I teach courses on domestic violence, a course on leadership, a course on policy and advocacy, a course on Diversity and a course on global violence against women.

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