Susan Schechter, one of the most accomplished and respected leaders
in the domestic violence prevention movement, died on February 3
of endometrial cancer in Iowa City, where she resided.
Schechter's specialty in recent years was exploring the ways that
domestic violence affects children. She devoted herself to building
bridges between the domestic violence and child welfare fields,
writing numerous highly regarded publications that offered guidance
to the two communities. Schechter co-authored Effective Intervention
in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for
Policy and Practice, popularly known as the "greenbook."
"Susan Schechter's dedication to the 'greenbook' project was remarkable,"
said Meredith Hofford, Director of the Family Violence Department
at NCJFCJ. "Her analytic abilities, intellectual integrity and charm
were unsurpassed in the battered women's movement."
"Our movement and the world lost a great leader, and many of us
lost a dear friend," agreed Family Violence Prevention Fund President
Esta Soler. "Susan's contribution was as enormous as it was unique.
She did the most difficult work in this field, looking at the intersection
of domestic and child abuse, and she always managed to make progress.
Her extraordinary vision and sheer brilliance helped eliminate every
obstacle that stood in her way. She was an inspiration to people
all across this nation. We will miss her terribly."
Schechter wrote two books that are considered virtual bibles in
the domestic violence community. Women and Male Violence: The
Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement was published
in 1982 and helped shape the battered women's movement in this country.
Schechter also co-authored, When Love Goes Wrong, with Ann
Jones in 1992. "She was the smartest and loveliest person on earth,"
"Susan's advocacy on behalf of women and children, her work in the
field of domestic violence, her writings, her voice, her compassion
- all made the world a better place, a safer place," said Center
for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare Director Susan Notkin.
"A light has gone out and we will miss her wisdom and her laughter,
and mostly we will miss her."
Schechter published widely and was in great demand as a speaker.
She won the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators
Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare in 2003, among many
From 1986 to 1993, Schechter was program coordinator and then a
consultant to Advocacy for Women and Kids in Emergencies (AWAKE)
at Children's Hospital in Boston. She had an M.S.W. from the University
of Illinois, and a B.A. from Washington University. She was born
and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.
Schechter is survived by her husband, Allen Steinberg, and their
The family has asked that donations in Susan Schechter's name be
sent to the Family Violence Prevention Fund (http://endabuse.org/support/donate/);
Iowa Women's Foundation (http://www.iawf.org/);
or the Gynecological Cancer Foundation (http://www.wcn.org/gcf/).