Sexual Violence Research Initiative: About

Sexual Violence Research Initiative graphicThe Sexual Violence Research Initiative launched in September, 2020. The Initiative is made possible by cluster hire funding from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and secured by the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs. The 3 new faculty, chosen across multiple disciplines, engage in research that focuses on (1) psychological aspects of sexual violence; (2) societal aspects of sexual violence; and (3) policy related to sexual violence, at multiple levels (e.g., the university, the state, the nation, or internationally).

Two of the new faculty were hired successfully in 2019-20: Dr. Kate Walsh, Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies, and Dr. Mariel Barnes, Assistant Professor in the La Follette School (arriving September, 2021). A search for a faculty member in Sociology or Social Work will continue in 2021-22. In addition, Dr. Chontel Syfox, a new Assistant Professor of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and Dr. Lara Gerassi, an established Assistant Professor of Social Work, are also UW faculty members in the SVRI.

For inquiries, contact Dr. Kate Walsh at