The impact of domestic violence in adult education - Diversity and Literacy Discussion List


Guest Facilitators

Mr. Andres Muro is the Director of the Community Education program at El Paso Community College. He has worked in adult education as an instructor and program administrator for over 20 years. Currently he is also working on a Ph.D in Teaching Learning and Culture. His interests are Critical Pedagogy and Native Language Literacy. He is also particularly interested in how domestic violence impacts adult education.

Dr. Erika Mein is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP). Her research looks at adolescent and adult literacies across educational contexts, with a particular focus on communities in Latin America and on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Before coming to UTEP, she worked as an adult EFL teacher in Ecuador and Mexico, an adult ESL teacher in the U.S., and as an international programs coordinator with ProLiteracy Worldwide.



We believe that the following excerpts from the introduction to our article (see suggested reading below) serve as an introduction to this guest discussion:

"Domestic violence is a widespread, yet virtually invisible, national problem. Nearly one third of all women report some form of domestic abuse at some point in their lives.  Researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike have devoted resources to developing effective interventions that tackle domestic violence on multiple fronts, through the criminal justice, health care, and social service systems. However, the adult education system has lagged behind in addressing domestic violence. This .... is troubling given the important role that adult education programs play in the lives of often-marginalized individuals seeking to improve their life conditions.  Because of their regular contact with women and men in precarious circumstances, adult educators occupy the 'front lines' in detecting-and being able to do something about-domestic violence issues that may be affecting the performance and participation of their learners" (pgs. 140-141). 

In our article, we describe the results of a domestic violence survey conducted with 187 female students in a GED program mostly serving Mexican immigrants at El Paso community College.

Some questions for people to think about before the discussion.

  1. Are you aware of incidents of domestic violence with your students?
  2. Are there any strategies, interventions that you use to address this issues?
  3. How do you think the domestic violence may impact the lives of your students?
  4. What is your reaction to our article (see below)?
  5. Looking at the questionnaire in the article (see below), are there any questions that resonate with you?
  6. What are some of the challenges of addressing issues of violence in the adult education classroom?


Suggested Reading

Muro, A., & Mein, E. (2010). Domestic trauma and adult education on the United States-Mexico Border. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 4, 140-150.

To retrieve this article please go to:


Please note: We do not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of the materials provided by other agencies or organizations via links off-site, nor do we endorse other agencies or organizations, their views, products or services.