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Callery hired as assistant director for Diane Halle Center


June 11, 2010

MonaLou Callery, who has worked for 25 years fighting domestic violence, has been hired as assistant director of the new Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. The Center is expected to become a model for the nation by taking a fully integrated approach to issues of child abuse, spousal abuse, protective orders, custody, prosecutions, family law, juvenile law and health law matters.

“MonaLou is the most resourceful, tenacious and dedicated advocate with whom I have worked in my 33 years in this field,” said Sarah M. Buel, a clinical professor at the University of Texas School of Law and former prosecutor, who has been chosen as the faculty director of the new center.

“As her impressive resume indicates, she has substantial experience that is right on point for all of the Halle Center’s work. I believe MonaLou will readily tackle the challenging initiatives we plan for the Halle Center with the same fervor she has shown in her rich work history in the broad field of family justice, and that her experienced voice will have particular resonance with those we will serve.”

Callery has worked for 25 years in domestic violence programs, rape crisis centers, the governors’ offices in Arizona and Massachusetts, and programs in Texas and Florida. In Arizona, she founded a nonprofit agency, the National Advocacy & Training Network, to provide training and technical assistance to all service providers working with at-risk populations, and the Support, Education, Empowerment & Directions (SEEDs), which helps women who have been physically and sexually abused, but who would not be eligible for traditional shelters because of drug and alcohol dependency.

For Callery, this is a dream job at a dream center that brings together all the resources victims need.

“We’re going to create this center from the ground up,” Callery said. “We want to bring together the wealth of expertise and knowledge at ASU, breaking down the silos in which people are working. Imagine what we can do together.”

Callery wants to look at battered women in Arizona prisons, women who, following their instinct to survive, ended up killing their abusers. She wants to examine the effects abusive relationships have on children.

“I want to share with women how to position themselves in a better place,” Callery said. “People still don’t understand the reality of what women go through. Even 45 days in a domestic violence center, how is that enough time for a woman to put her life back together? This is why I continue to do this work.”

The Center, which will include the NextCare Urgent Care Family Violence Legal Clinic, was established in partnership with the AVON Program for Women and the O’Connor House Project, committed to furthering the vision of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.) to encourage purposeful civil talk which will lead to positive civic action.

It will engage students and professors from the College of Law, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the School of Social Work and the School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU to provide support and free legal assistance to victims. In addition to serving victims, the Clinic will also train future generations of lawyers to work with other service professionals on the holistic needs of clients.

Judy Nichols, Judith.Nichols@asu.edu
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law