Meet Fall 2008, Volume 9, Number 1

Dr. Gillum holds a doctorate in community psychology, with a minor in the sociology of gender and race from Michigan State University, East Lansing.

by Toy Eldridge

Meet Dr. Tameka L. Gillum

Practical research for service providers


Research Focus: Intimate Partner Violence


r. Tameka L.Gillum has focused her career on researching and working on the issues of domestic violence in the African- American community. The focus of her research is intimate partner violence (IPV), including the disproportionate rates of IPV among women of color, culturally specific dynamics of violence and developing specifically tailored interventions for minority populations. She is also interested in exploring the intersections of intimate partner violence and HIV.

Her past research has included: Exploring the Link Between Stereotypic Images and Intimate Partner Violence in the African American Community, where she created her own Perceptions of African-American Women Scale, that has gone on to be used in other research. The scale was used to measure the extent of stereotypic views African-American men have for African- American women, including: the matriarch, jezebel and positive images subcategories.

She first came in contact with IDVAAC while researching historical stereotypes of African-American women and their relationship to intimate partner violence. She says she has had a wonderful experience working with IDVAAC, especially having the opportunities to speak with like minded individuals who also work in the field of domestic violence. “It’s important to be connected to people who are also working in the same field and to be able to engage in dialogue with them” said Dr. Gillum.

The Message

“It’s important to continue to get the word out about the impact of intimate partner violence in the African-American community and foster community-based intervention and prevention efforts. It is also important to continue to conduct and disseminate research to inform such efforts and facilitate the acquisition of funding to continue addressing the issue of domestic violence in the African- American community. IDVAAC’s work is critical to this point,” said Dr. Gillum.

IDVAAC’s conferences are one way of getting the word out. They are excellent opportunities to hear speakers address similar issues that Dr. Gillum is also involved with. “It’s great to hear all the community-based efforts, including community-based intervention programs,” said Dr. Gillum.

In her career so far, a personal highlight for Dr. Gillum has been the opportunities to speak directly with women about their experiences and translate that into formats which directly target service providers. She believes in the importance of conducting research that is practical in aiding to develop ways to better serve those who are impacted by intimate violence and providing feedback in ways that are useful to service providers, those who are working “in the trenches” of the domestic violence movement. It is important that the research become more than insights shared between academics, it needs to actually translate into the real world and continue to be of service to those who are working to end domestic violence as well as those experiencing it.

As a community psychologist, Dr. Gillum does community-based research. Her involvement with the communities she has worked in has led to connections with other organizations working on community-based programs including Tapestry Health, an organization dedicated to providing health care to under/uninsured people in the state of Massachusetts, House of Ruth, a women’s domestic violence center shelter in Baltimore, MD, and the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.


Dr. Gillum holds a doctorate in community psychology, with a minor in the sociology of gender and race from Michigan State University, East Lansing. She also completed a two-year postdoctorate research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, with their Urban Health Institute, Baltimore. She has published several research articles and is now an assistant professor with the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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