Sexual Violence Research Initiative


Collaborative Projects

Wisconsin Domestic Violence Housing First Pilot Program Evaluation (2021-2024)

Drs. Barnes (LaFollette School), Walsh (Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies) and Sims (former UW Agriculture and Applied Economics graduate student and current Assistant Professor of Microeconomics for Public Policy, University of Denver) were awarded a 3-year $337,500 contract from the Wisconsin Department for Children and families to evaluate the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Housing First Pilot Program. This award and the pilot program more broadly were made possible with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan and will allow the investigators to study how nine domestic violence service sites across the state are implementing the Housing First philosophy, which prioritizes safe, stable, and permanent housing for DV survivors. The investigators will be able to study the effects of the program on individual DV survivors as well as on DV organizations and surrounding communities more broadly. Drs. Barnes and Walsh also secured a $60,000 supplemental Wisconsin Idea Collaboration grant to fund a Project Assistant and work closely with the Wisconsin Extension program, Rent Smart.

Sims, K., Barnes, M., & Walsh, K. (revised and resubmitted). From theory to practice: Designing a multi-method, multi-stage program evaluation of the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Housing First pilot program.

Understanding How the Forensic Nurse Exam Can be Improved to Reduce Health Disparities among LGBTQ+ and Racial and Ethnic Minority Survivors of Sexual Assault (2022-2023).

Drs. Klein, Luebke, and Walsh were awarded a $75,000 Clinical and Community Outcomes Research Pilot Award from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at UW-Madison to develop community-engaged research to study how the post-assault medical care could be improved to reduce health disparities experienced by survivors of color and LGBTQ+ survivors. This award allowed the research team to develop their study methods in collaboration with nurses, survivors of color, and LGBTQ+ survivors and collect pilot data to apply for external funding from the National Institutes of Health.

A Mixed-Methods, Multi-Stakeholder Study to Understand and Improve Access to Post-Sexual Assault Care for Survivors of Color, LGBTQ+ Survivors, and/or Survivors Living in Poverty (2023-2025).

Drs. Klein, Luebke, and Walsh were awarded a $250,000 Increasing Social and Economic Inclusion grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Graduate Research and Education to expand the forensic nurse exam project to understand the role of poverty, barriers to accessing care, and the perspectives of multiple stakeholders who provide post-assault care, including hospital-based social workers, mental health personnel, emergency department staff, tribal clinic leaders, and advocates.

Innovative Approaches to Understanding How, Why and Under What Conditions Young People Trade Virtual and In-Person Sexual Contact for Financial Compensation (2021-present).

Trading sex for financial compensation is a complex public health problem. Drs. Gerassi and Walsh have developed a research agenda to improve the measurement and understanding of sex trading among young people. They have interviewed and surveyed undergraduate and graduate students to develop and psychometrically test a comprehensive multi-item measure that assesses nuances of sex trading acts, motivations, compensations, risk and protective behaviors, and positive and negative consequences. In addition to the published manuscripts listed below and several others in progress, they submitted a R01 to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: Gerassi) to study these phenomena among young adults in national samples of young adults.

Gerassi, L. B., Zimmerman, L., & Walsh, K. (2023). Toward a Multi-item Measure to Identify Involvement in and Circumstances of the Sex Trades: Findings from Cognitive Interviews. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-11.

Gerassi, L., L.B. Lowe, Sarah, R., & Walsh, K. (2022). University students who report having sex in exchange for money or other compensation: Findings from a public university sample. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-10.

Remote Tech Clinic to Combat Tech-Enabled Domestic Abuse in Wisconsin (2023-2026).

Drs. Chatterjee and Walsh were awarded a $750,000 grant from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to expand access to a technology clinic that can support survivors of domestic violence by reducing risk for technology-facilitated abuse and stalking.