Raluca Iosif IPV Research Awardee presentation Oct. 12

When: October 12, 2017 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Where: IntraHealth International
6340 Quadrangle Drive, Suite 200
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Please join us October 12 for a presentation by Josie Caves, winner of the Raluca Iosif Intimate Partner Violence Research Award. The research is designed to further our global understanding of intimate-partner violence and the factors associated with it in relation to homicide.

Caves, a PhD student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, will discuss her research on the impact of firearm regulations on intimate-partner violence. IntraHealth gender expert Constance Newman and UNC professor Beth Moracco will also discuss the larger research agenda around intimate-partner violence.

IntraHealth launched this award in spring 2016 to honor Raluca Iosif, an IntraHealth colleague whose life was cut short by violence in October 2015, and to ensure that Raluca’s deep commitment to global health—and to ending injustice and violence against women—lives on.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Upcoming Gender-Based Violence Speaker Series Events

Please join us for our first Gender-Based Violence Research Group Speaker Series Events of Fall 2016!

Ammunition for Change: Explaining the Surprising Adoption of Domestic Violence and Gun Control Policies Across the United States from 2009-2015

Sierra Smucker, MSc, PhD Candidate, Duke University

Thursday October 6, 12:00 – 1:00 pm, 3100 MHRC

The availability of firearms continues to threaten the lives of American citizens on a daily basis. However, a persistent political narrative suggests that calls for policy change are futile; that any legislation at the national level will be killed by the powerful gun lobby; and because of our permissive gun laws, the United States will continue to have more gun violence than any other developed country in the world. While this narrative is supported by the failure of federal policies that regulate firearms, a significant number of state legislatures have passed gun reforms that protect women in abusive relationships. Since 2013, 18 states, including historically pro-gun states like Louisiana, Tennessee, and Washington, have passed new laws to protect victims of domestic violence from firearms. In a time of deep political polarization, particularly around the issue of firearms, why are some state legislators passing these policies while rejecting other types of gun control policies? Is the change we are seeing in DV and firearms policy evidence of a transformative change in American politics or is it an outlier? Using an in-depth case study approach, this study begins to unravel the puzzle of DV and firearms policy by investigating the passage of domestic violence and firearm policy at the state level.

Sport-based HIV prevention: Innovation and research on gender-based violence

Jeff DeCelles, Technical Advisor of Curriculum & Research at Grassroot Soccer and DrPH student at UNC Department of Health Policy & Management

Tuesday October 25th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, 101 Rosenau Hall

The Gender-based violence research group and Health Behavior Global Health Roundtable are organizing a guest speaker, Jeff DeCelles, from Grassroot Soccer (GRS). GRS is an international non-profit that develops and implements sport-based health programming for adolescent youth across sub-Saharan Africa. Jeff will be speaking about the organization’s innovative gender-based violence programming and research.

Starting the Conversation

How collaborations are advancing gender-based violence research and training at UNC-Chapel Hill

by Jessica Porter
The following is reprinted with permission from Endeavors, the UNC Research online magazine.

In January 2015, college students flocked to campus showings of “The Hunting Ground.” While dozens of universities appear in the film, it has a clear focus. As images of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, Polk Place, and Bell Tower flash across the screen during the two-minute trailer, alumna Annie Clark says: “The first few weeks I made some of my best friends, but two of us were sexually assaulted before classes even started.”

Clark and fellow alumna Andrea Pino were heavily featured in the documentary, which shined a light on the issue of college sexual assault. The Sundance Film Festival marked the two “among a growing, unstoppable network of young women who will no longer be silent.” College sexual assault, though, is just one type of gender-based violence, a topic that has received increased attention both domestically and internationally in recent years.

As activism and awareness for gender-based violence have increased — broadly and at UNC — so has the push for research on the topic. Stephanie DeLong, a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology, is just one of a number of students focused on this type of research at Carolina. She, specifically, examines partner violence among adolescents in northeastern South Africa.

DeLong quickly learned she wasn’t the only student on campus who saw a need to bring different types of gender-based violence research together. She partnered with fellow epidemiology student Aliza Gellman-Chomsky and Marta Mulawa from the Department of Health Behavior. They discussed the value of increasing collaborations across departments. “There were a lot of people doing this work, but we were scattered all over campus,” she says.

To bring this research together, the trio sent out a series of emails to multiple departments within Gillings to gage interest in the project. Three years later, those emails and enthusiasm have blossomed into a more formal collaboration involving students, faculty, practitioners, and other researchers from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Social Work, Student Wellness, and Carolina Women’s Center.

Today, the UNC Gender-Based Violence Research Group (GBVRG) collaborates on manuscripts, advocates for student training opportunities, hosts speakers every month, and holds an annual summit to raise awareness about gender-based violence and research occurring at Carolina. On April 6, this year’s summit, called “Violence Across the Life Course,” will touch on child abuse, violence during adolescence, sexual assault on college campuses, and intimate partner violence.

Steve Marshall, the director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, will kick off the event with opening remarks. The center co-sponsored GBVRG’s first summit and will act as a partner again this year. “Gender-based violence is a big, complex social issue,” Marshall says. “If we are going to have an impact on it, we need interdisciplinary research that gets to the root cause.”

Marshall has been on board with GBVRG’s work since day one. He was initially drawn to the group because of its extraordinary network within different departments. “The faculty members are so busy that we don’t always step back and look at the big picture,” Marshall says. “Sometimes our students see the linkages between these topics better than we do!”

Sandra Martin, the associate dean for research in Gillings, knows this better than anyone. Last year, a survey fromGBVRG spurred the researcher to reinvent one of her past courses. Years ago, when she first started lecturing at UNC, Martin taught “Violence Against Women” and then “Research Methods.” She put both courses on the back burner to focus on her research on violence against children and women.

In 2014, though, Martin began receiving email inquiries from students about gender-based violence courses. She knew she couldn’t fill a classroom with the few students reaching out to her via email, but she wondered if more students were interested. Luckily, GBVRG sent out another email to see what kind of courses public health students wanted to take. “They came to me and told me that students wanted to take my class,” Martin says, “which was great because I wanted to teach it again!”

Last fall, Martin taught a class called “Gender-Based Violence.” To create the curriculum, she combined research from her past courses with new studies on men and transgender people. “It really tries to incorporate the latest research and topics into the class,” Martin says. “Classes should change as the knowledge base grows.”

The course is restricted to graduate students and meets once a week for three hours. During the first half of the class, Martin typically invites guest speakers to give presentations. Students then have the opportunity to network with the speakers, which sometimes leads to collaborations on projects. These kinds of relationships are extremely important in the field of gender-based violence, according to Martin.

She believes that her course and the work of GBVRG lay the foundation for the future. “It is more than just a class or a summit,” Martin says. “These individuals are the next generation of researchers that will go on to end gender-based violence.”

Stephanie DeLong is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a founder and one of the student leaders in the UNCGender-Based Violence Research Group.

Steve Marshall is the director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. He is also a professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Sandra Martin is the associate dean for research in the UNCGillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. Last year, she helped coordinate the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct at UNC-Chapel Hill.

For the full article & other news from UNC Endeavors, please visit them here.

Join us at the 2016 GBV Summit on April 6 at UNC Chapel Hill!

The UNC Gender-Based Violence Research Group and UNC Injury Prevention Research Center will be hosting our annual Gender-Based Violence Summit on April 6 from 1:30-4:30 pm, in Rosenau Hall 133.

The focus of the summit will be “Violence Across the Life Course” with domestic and internationally-focused talks given by UNC Doctoral Students. The full agenda is available here. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be available. Attendance is free and open to the UNC community and general public. Registration is not required.

Please contact Stephanie DeLong at smdelong@email.unc.edu with any questions about the summit.GBV Summit Public Agenda


Upcoming seminar on military sexual assault prevention

Join us for this month’s installment in the Gender-based Violence Research Group Speaker Series. Our speaker will be Dr. Olivia Silber Ashley, Director of RTI, International’s Risk Behavior and Family Research Program.

Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Time: 12:30-1:30PM

Location: Rosenau Hall, Room 101

GBV_February Meeting Notice_1.25.2016

Upcoming Gender-Based Violence Research Group seminar on DV


You are cordially invited to the October meeting of the Gender-Based Violence Research Group at UNC. We’ll be hosting a presentation by Professor Deborah Weissman, JD of the UNC School of Law. She will be presenting a talk entitled “Rethinking a New Domestic Violence Pedagogy.”

Please see Professor Weissman’s webpage for more information: http://www.law.unc.edu/faculty/directory/weissmandeborahm/

UNC-CH Royster Fellow to focus on sexual violence prevention

Sarah Treves-Kagan, MPH

Sarah Treves-Kagan, MPH

Each fall, new students bring their unique perspectives to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The UNC Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows works to attract exceptionally talented graduate students from around the world to add their points of view to the campus conversation.

Of the twenty-nine doctoral students who joined Carolina as Royster Fellows in 2015, seven attend the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. These students were selected for fellowships based on their academic performance, research, service, life experiences and potential for future leadership.

Sarah Treves-Kagan, in the Department of Health Behavior, is focusing her research on sexual violence prevention. Treves-Kagan is the recipient of the William R. Kenan Jr. Fellowship. She studied anthropology and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and earned a master’s degree in public health (maternal and child health) at the University of California-Berkeley.

Treves-Kagan also volunteered for several years as a rape crisis counselor supporting survivors of sexual violence and their families. “The work was difficult but extremely rewarding,” she said. “However, the stream of survivors seemed never-ending, which moved me to focus on prevention. This launched my career in public health and violence prevention. I am pursuing my doctoral degree at UNC to continue my research with some of the leaders in the field.” Read More »