Institute on Violence, Abuse & Trauma
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With the capacity to reshape systems of justice, health and education while addressing the needs of those who have experienced trauma, Ho’omaluhia, endeavors to bridge the divide between front-line professionals responding to violence and our partners in health, education, the arts and community advocacy seeking to inspire peacebuilding.

  •  Hawai’i Initiatives

    • Hawai’i Victim Service Academy

    • Efforts to Implement the Child and Adult Advocacy Studies in Hawai’i Colleges and Universities

    • Hawai’i Human Trafficking Task Force

    • Support for Native Hawaiian Allies, including work with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individual

    •  Restorative Justice

  • International, Pacific and Indigenous Initiative

For more information please contact

Paola Grolli-Cole, M.A                                                                Outreach and Education Coordinator                           862.216.6950                                              

Our History

The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute was founded by Dr. Robert Geffner in 1984 to address the need for a national resource and training center focused directly on family violence issues.  To expand the scope of FVSAI’s work, Dr. Geffner in 2005 founded the Institute on Violence and Trauma ( to serve as a comprehensive resource, training and research center dealing with all aspects of abuse and trauma.  In 2015, FVSAI established a local office in Hawaii, given the Hawaiian name “Ho`omaluhia” by Hawaiian kupuna, Aunty Lynette Paglinawan, to deliver more consistent support for the front-line social workers, advocates, justice, medical/public health, education and allied professionals working to address violence and build healthier Pacific communities through collaborative leadership and peace building education.  IVAT and FVSAI leadership have a long history of supporting training and technical assistance in Hawaii and in the Pacific region, delivering training in Hawaii for more than 20 years and delivering an internationally recognized annual summit in Hawaii, the Hawai`i International Training Summit: Preventing, Assessing and Treating Trauma Across the Lifespan. The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute and the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence are linked organizations working together to end violence and build peace.

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Our Principles

To these ends, Ho`omaluhia embraces the following principles and ideals:

  1.        Support for partner organizations in Hawai`i and a commitment to supporting local partners and building funding
           streams from sources outside of the State of Hawai`i;
  2.        Prioritizing the peoples of Hawai`i and Native Hawaiian partners;
  3.        A collaborative approach which respects diversity of opinion;
  4.        Mutual respect among all members;
  5.       Promoting peace and peace building processes in all of our interactions; and
  6.       Transparency in all decision-making processes.

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Our Leadership

IVAT and FVSAI President & Founder Dr. Robert Geffner

IVAT and FVSAI CEO Sandi Capuano Morrison

Advisory Council Executive Chairperson Linda Santos

Advisory Council

Warren Aoki, Social Work Consultant, Regional Health Command-Pacific, United States Army

Lehuanani Akau, University of Hawai`i, West Oahu Healthcare Coordinator

Paulette Bethel, President and CEO of Family Programs Hawai’i 

Michael Broderick, Former Family Court Judge, CEO of YMCA Hawai’i

Cleo Brown, Tech Consulting Services, Oahu  

Mary Burgess, Director of Community Relations Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health

Merton Chinen, Executive Director Office of youth Services Hawai`i Department of Human Services  

Steve Choy, Associate Professor Argosy University 

Suzanne Chun Oakland, Retired Hawai`i State Senator

Judith Clark, Executive Director at Hawai’i Youth Services

Dennis Dunn, Program Director- Victim Witness Kokua Services, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney Honolulu

Lisa Dunn, Ex. Vice President Children's Alliance Hawaii

Pam Ferguson-Brey, Executive Director Crime Victim Compensation

Kimberly Gabbard, PACWIN member & non-profit organizer for PTSD for Military and First Responders

Kathi Kreinik, Board of Director at Parents Inc.

Keith Kuboyama, Family Programs Hawaii

Ryan Kusumoto, President & CEO Parents and Children Together

Marci Lopes (Executive Committee), Hawaii Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Lynette Paglinawan, University of Hawai’i, School of Social Work/John Burns School of Medicine 

Jerry Rauckhorst, (Executive Committee), Retired CEO of Catholic Charities Hawai’i

Adriana Romelli, SATC

Mitch Roth, Prosecuting Attorney, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawai`i 

Debbie Shimizu (Executive Committee), Executive at AAG

Sharon Simms, CEO SAS Services LLC 

Lesley Slavin, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division

Deborah Spencer-Chun, President & CEO Adult Friends for Youth

Cheri Tarutani, University of Hawai’i School of Social Work

Kerrie Urosevich, 

Our Leadership

President and Founder Dr. Robert Geffner: 
Robert Geffner is a licensed clinician (Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist in California and a Licensed Psychologist in Texas) and directed a full-service private practice mental health clinic in East Texas for over 15 years prior to relocating to California 15 years ago.

Dr. Geffner has trained mental health professionals, judges, attorneys, and others for over 28 years.

He is President and Founder of a nonprofit international resource and training center (the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute in Texas and now in California), the Founding President of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma at Alliant International University, a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego, and editor of five professional journals (including the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Journal of Family Violence, and the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma; he is also in the process of becoming the editor of the Journal of Child Custody). He has a Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology from the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology, and is Board Certified in Couple and Family Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

He has lectured extensively on the subjects of child abuse, domestic violence, trauma, forensic psychology, child custody, expert witness, and diagnostic assessment. Dr. Geffner is a past president of the American Psychological Association Division of Trauma Psychology, and he is currently co-chair of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) and president of the American Academy of Couple & Family Psychology. He has served on numerous state, national, and professional committees and task forces concerning family violence, child abuse, interpersonal violence, family law, child custody, and family psychology.


Chief Executive Officer Sandi Capuano-Morrison:
Sandi Capuano Morrison received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Psychology with a focus in Women’s Studies in 1996. Her commitment to domestic violence survivors began after volunteering at a battered women’s shelter as part of a course on Gandhi’s philosophy of ahimsa, nonviolent resistance, and satyagrapha.

Sandi was a victim advocate at Boulder County Safehouse and then Children’s Counselor at Alternatives to Violence domestic violence shelter before moving to Boston in 1998 and graduating from Boston College with her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2000. It was at BC that Sandi became certified as a Batterer Intervention Program Facilitator and assisted with research on the process and efficacy of offender programs. She became the Program Director of the IMPACT Batterer Intervention Program and ran offender groups for 5 years in Boston suburbs.

After moving to San Diego in 2005, Sandi managed the county-wide domestic violence and sexual assault 24-hour hotline and volunteer program and then the city of San Diego’s Rape Crisis Center at the Center for Community Solutions. In that position she was a member of both the San Diego Sexual Assault Response Team and the Sex Offender Management Council and became certified by California’s Office of Emergency Services as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault counselor. She was also a Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) volunteer.

Sandi serves on the Executive Committee of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) and is also a board member of Stop the Silence, Stop Child Sexual Abuse Inc.

Sandi is committed to empowerment-based, survivor-informed programs & processes as well as offender accountability. She has interests in Restorative Justice, Holistic Healing, Cultural Competency, Human Rights and Social Justice.


Our Team

 Pacific Human Rights Fellow Pamela Brown, J.D.
Public Health Fellow Dr. Kimberly S.G. Chang, M.D., M.P.H.
    Research Fellow Dr. Billie Jo Grant, Ph.D.
    Outreach Coordinator Paola Grolli, M.A., M.A.
    International Fellow Alicia Limtiaco, J.D.
    United Child Protection Consultant Andrey Makhanko, M.A.
    Social Work Fellow Fotu Soliai, LCSW, MSW
    International Peace Fellow Katsumi Takemoto, M.P.A.
    International Fellow Saunie Wilson, MSW, Oglala Lakota


Our Partners

Hope Foundation for African Women

Indian Country Child Trauma Center 

Living Life Source Foundation

Minesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

Native American Pathways

New Light Nepal

NPEIV’s Global Peace Action Tea

Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Amerika Samoa Multidisciplinary Team

Brightways Learning

Ceeds of Peace

Changing Children’s World Foundation

Engage Asia

Guam Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence


Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network

Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network – American Samoan Chapter

Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network – Hawaiian Chapters


Pua Foundation


What We Are Doing

Training and Technical Assistance in Hawai’i.  Ho’omaluhia provides evidence-based, trauma-informed, culturally sensitive and victim centered training and technical assistance to the agencies, organizations front-line professionals serving the peoples of Hawai’i;

Training and Technical Assistance Internationally.  Ho’omaluhia also provides training and technical assistance throughout the Asia Pacific region and to indigenous communities internationally;

Research and Program Evaluation.  Ho’omaluhia will support the development of research networks in the Pacific region, sharing evidence-based programs developed in Hawai‘i with communities in the mainland United States and internationally and bringing evidence-based programs to the Pacific region; and

 Ho’omaluhia collaborated with partners to support the local and regional initiatives needed to build peace and health in the Pacific region.

Ho`omaluhia/IVAT delivered a total of 5 sessions sponsored by the Department of Health.

Two sessions took place in Hilo and Kona in July, and one in each of the following islands: Maui, Kauai and Oahu earlier in the year. These trainings met the basic program on effects of adverse childhood experiences, trauma informed care, and the behavioral health issues throughout the lifespan.

 Ho`omaluhia/IVAT convened some strategic planning meetings at the Pre-Summit to focus on the goals, trainings, networking, for indigenous populations in Hawaii and the Pacific (especially the Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network, and the Hawaiian chapter).

In addition, the Advisory Council had two strategic planning meetings to review projects, goals, funding, and different ways to meet the needs of those on the islands with respect to integration of services and training. The Advisory Council was expanded to add the new CEO of Child & Family Service and also the Executive Director of the HI State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thus, the main nonprofit agencies around the islands as well as state agencies have been represented in our planning in order to increase the ability to integrate services.

Ho`omaluhia/IVAT received 100+ technical assistance inquiries. The majority of the inquiries were to request support in identifying existing or additional training opportunities covering a wide array of topics, some of which are: 3

  • training outreach in the neighbor islands
  • substance abuse treatment program for adolescents
  • vicarious trauma
  • witness intimidation for domestic violence victims
  • domestic violence training for law enforcement and possibilities for train the trainer
  • sex assault prevention
  • undocumented families’ needs
  • forensic interviewing
  • mandated reporting for educators
  • safer victims’ assistance practices for service providers

Ho`omaluhia/IVAT also received a number of technical assistance requests by partner agencies asking for assistance regarding establishing better coordination & better communication/collaboration among Hawai`i’s training community, request to participate in the Hawai`i Summit Planning committee and many requests regarding the content of the Hawai`i IVAT Summit.  The list of agencies who reached out for technical assistance is a mirror of the list of entities involved in our community as service providers, preventive services and advocacy as well as law enforcement and state agencies, some of which were:

  • Children's Justice Center - East Hawaii
  • Hawai`i Youth Services Network
  • Office of the U.S. Attorney - Hawai'i
  • Parents Inc.
  • Missing Children’s Division Hawaii
  • Office of the Prosecuting Attorney - Hawaii County
  • Family Support Hawaii
  • Hawai`i Crime Victims Compensation Commission
  • Hawai`i Police Department - South Hilo
  • Office of the Attorney General

Ho`omaluhia/IVAT organized and managed the planning of the 14th International Hawai`i Summit  with 50 collaborating agencies contributing during the year to ensure key training topics and workshops to be presented to their staff.  These meetings included representative from the following agencies/organizatio

  • Departments of Human Services
    • Maternal and Child Health,
    • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Addiction and Drug Abuse
  • Office of Youth Services
  •  Department of Education - HI-AWARE project
  •  Office of Victim Assistance for Prosecutor’s Office
  •  Family Programs Hawai`i
  •  Catholic Charities

 Ho`omaluhia/IVAT conducted 16 focus groups and interviews with 49 people from various agencies throughout the state as part of the Needs Assessment project for the Attorney General. As part of the focus groups, we obtained important feedback that we were able to provide to the agencies as well.

Check out Ho`omaluhia's Fall 2017 Newsletter!


Trainings, Conferences, Workshops & Summits

SESAME (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct and Exploitation) Meeting

Center for Women’s Global Leadership Meeting with Pacific Women

Global Peace Action Team’s Indian Country Committee Bi-Annual Meeting

Global Peace Action Team’s European Committee Annual Meeting

Coalition of Pacific Human Trafficking Task Forces Annual Meeting


Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network – Hawaiian Chapters Meeting       
December 7th, 2016 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

NPEIV’s Global Peace Action Team – Indian Country Committee Meeting
December 14th, 2016 |Rapid City, SD

NPEIV’s Global Peace Action Team – Asia & Africa Committee Meeting   
January 13th, 2017 | New York, NY

“Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network – Hawaiian Chapters Annual Meeting”  March 27, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

Pacific Coalition of Human Trafficking Task Forces Annual Meeting            
March 26, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

Global Peace Action Team Bi-annual Meeting                                      
March 26th, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

Previous Events

“Trauma, Mental Health and Healing in Indian Country” 
Dec. 14- 15, 2016 | Rapid City, South Dakota
This track on trauma was offered as part of the Lakota Nations Education Conference 2016.  

“Trauma, Mental Health and the Pacific Church”                           
March 27 – 28, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

“Professional Development Workshop for the American Samoa Department of Health and Human Services” 
March 27 – 28, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

“Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network – Hawaiian Chapters Annual Workshop” 
March 27, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

Pacific Coalition of Human Trafficking Task Forces Annual Meeting
March 26, 2017 | Honolulu, Hawai`i

Global Peace Action Team Bi-annual Meeting                            
March 26th, 2017 |Honolulu, Hawai`i

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