Melissa Petrangelo Scaia, M.P.A.
Melissa experienced domestic violence in a young relationship, sexual violence as an adult, and has worked in the field of domestic violence since 1999. She began as a youth advocate working with children who lived with domestic violence. She has also been an advocate for adult victims of domestic violence since 1999. During her tenure running a local domestic violence program, it became a five program agency with national recognition.
Melissa trains professionals globally, nationally and statewide in Minnesota. She has served as an expert witness in both criminal and civil cases of domestic violence in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Melissa Petrangelo Scaia is the Director of International Training for Global Rights for Women (GRW). At GRW, Melissa also co-facilitates a men’s domestic violence offender group each week in our local program Pathways to Family Peace. She has been co-facilitating in offender programming for over 22 years. In her position at GRW she brings a wealth of experience as the former executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), also known as “the Duluth Model.” Prior to working in Duluth she was the executive director of Advocates for Family Peace (AFFP) for 17 years, a local domestic violence advocacy program where she advocated for victims of domestic violence. She has also led and organized three Coordinated Community Responses (CCRs) to address domestic violence in Minnesota. Most recently, since January 2020, she has been facilitating the CCR response domestic violence in the city of Minneapolis, MN. She has been a consulting trainer for a number of national training organizations on domestic violence and child abuse, including the Center for Court Innovation (CCI), the Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). As a qualified expert in the she testifies as an expert witness on domestic violence in criminal court cases in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She wrote her masters thesis on the effects of domestic violence on children and wrote her doctoral dissertation proposal to address supervised visitation, children and domestic violence. She has contributed to numerous publications related to domestic violence offender programing, supervised visitation, women’s use of violence and domestic violence. She co-wrote a curriculum and DVD for working with men who batter as fathers entitled, Addressing Fatherhood with Men Who Batter. She also co-authored a curriculum and DVD with Ellen Pence, PhD and Laura Connelly for working with women who have used violence in intimate relationships entitled, Turning Points: A Nonviolence Curriculum for Women. Most recently, she authored Safe Consultations with Survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls, a guide with UN Women on how to conduct focus groups and interviews with survivors. She has been selected for numerous roundtable advisory discussion groups for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) through the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. She was named to a National Consulting Group on Batterers Intervention Programs and as a National Advisory Committee Member for Law & Order: SVU actress Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation for survivor-based healing. She has also conducted research on topics related to domestic violence: 1) women’s use of violence and 2) using videoconference software to conduct men’s batter intervention programming (BIP). Recently at GRW, she has participated in a number of United Nations Expert Meetings related to domestic violence and worked with numerous UN Women regional offices and local women’s organizations globally. This past year she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Public Service from Hamline University. Outside of her work she is a mother of two, a Minnesota State High School League volleyball referee, and has a passion for photography.