Sexual Violence Research Initiative: Faculty

Mariel BarnesDr. Mariel Barnes

Assistant Professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs

Mariel Barnes’ research investigates the impact of the welfare state on everyday violence against women (EVAW) with a focus on highly industrialized countries, particularly in Europe. Her book project argues that Europe’s extremely high rates of physical and sexual violence against women are an unintended consequence of implementation and promotion of the “universal breadwinning model” – a set of family policies that are designed to alleviate the burdens of familyhood on women but in actuality, prompt a violent backlash from men. Mariel utilizes a multi-method empirical strategy which incorporates cross-national and sub-national statistical analysis, survey research, interviews, and ethnographic observation. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and the Institute for Humane Studies.

Sara ChadwickDr. Sara B. Chadwick

Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, and Psychology

Sara B. Chadwick’s research focuses on identifying and assessing “gray-area” forms of sexual coercion and dating abuse – i.e., negative sexual and dating experiences that do not fit typical definitions of sexual assault or violence. She is also deeply invested in understanding how such experiences differ for women, men, and gender/sexual minorities (e.g., bisexual, lesbian/gay, trans, nonbinary) and contribute to sexual and psychological health disparities (e.g., sexual functioning, psychological distress, STI/HIV risk). Sara’s research utilizes quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g., via online surveys, experiments, and interview data) and integrates approaches from psychology, public health, and feminist/queer science.

Lara GerassiDr. Lara Gerassi

Assistant Professor, Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work

Lara B. Gerassi’s research focuses on enhancing the health and well-being of people who are involved in the sex trade and/or are at risk of sex trafficking. Her work uses an intersectional, anti-oppressive approach to (1) understand how sex trafficking experiences differ based on race, sex, gender, and sexual orientation among other identities; (2) improve sex trafficking identification practices among health and social service providers; and (3) strengthen the health and community responses for people at risk of sex trafficking and those with lived experiences of sex trafficking and homelessness. She uses community-engaged approaches to increase methodological rigor of her studies and translate knowledge into practice.

Chloe Hart portrait photoDr. Chloe Hart

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

In her research, Dr. Chloe Grace Hart explores the social conditions in which sexual violence is enabled and the inequalities that result from it. In one stream of research, she examines how elements of organizational culture, like the way leaders communicate about the sexual violence, shape how sexual violence is perceived. In a second stream of research, she explores the subtle costs of sexual harassment, such as the hidden labor that people engage in to avoid workplace sexual harassment and the negative stereotypes and resulting bias that may come with being known as a target of sexual harassment. Methodologically, Chloe uses interviews to capture how people make sense of sexual violence, and survey experiments to isolate mechanisms that promote inequalities stemming from sexual violence.

Rose Hennessey GarzaRose Hennessy Garza, PhD MPH

Visiting Assistant Professor, Public Health, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Honorary Fellow University of Wisconsin – Madison

Dr. Hennessy Garza is a public health researcher, implementation scientist, and program evaluator focused on sexual violence prevention, women’s health, and health disparities. She brings over a decade of experience in sexual violence prevention, advocacy, evaluation, and research. Dr. Hennessy Garza envisions a world free from violence or the threat of violence. She uses mixed methods, participatory action research, and culturally responsive evaluation alongside communities to rigorously develop, implement, and study solutions to public health problems. She believes research should improve the public’s health in real time, and is passionate about closing the research-to-practice gap by working directly with stakeholders. Her current research focuses on sexual violence prevention on college campuses along with consultation to national and global public health projects.

Janet Hyde

Dr. Janet S. Hyde

Professor Emerit of Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies

The primary focus of Dr. Janet Hyde’s research has been the psychology of women and gender.  The author of the Gender Similarities Hypothesis (2005), she has conducted numerous meta-analyses on psychological gender differences and similarities in domains such as math performance, depression, and sexuality. In the area of sexual violence, she has conducted research on peer sexual harassment victimization in adolescence, using longitudinal data. Most recently, she led an interdisciplinary team in the writing of an article assembling the evidence that challenges the gender binary. Hyde is also the author of an undergraduate textbook, Understanding Human Sexuality (14 ed., McGraw-Hill, 2020), which contains an entire chapter on sexual coercion.

LB Klein HeadshotDr. LB Klein (she/her or they/them)

Assistant Professor, Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work

Dr. Klein’s research focuses on gender-based violence (GBV; e.g., sexual assault/harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and anti-queer/trans harassment) prevention, survivor advocacy, and LGBTQ+ health. In one line of research, they are developing/adapting and testing LGBTQ+-affirming and -centered prevention programming for college and university students. In a second line of research, she is seeking to understand and improve institutional GBV prevention and survivor advocacy practices. Dr. Klein uses mixed methods, community-centered, and intersectional approaches and is committed to trauma-informed and anti-oppressive pedagogy, translational research, practice-informed research, and building more accessible and inclusive campus environments. You can follow them on Twitter at @LB_Klein or learn more about their work on Google Scholar.

Jeneile LuebkeJeneile Luebke, Phd, RN

Jeneile Luebke PhD, RN is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She was a Anna Julia Cooper fellow in the School of Nursing in 2020-2022. She in an enrolled member of Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. She received her BS and MS Nursing from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and her PhD at UW-Milwaukee.  She is a key part of a team of multi-site researchers who are involved in several community engaged research and service grants that aim to better understand the lived experiences of gender-based violence, as well as advocating for survivor-led, trauma informed, and culturally safe interventions and options for Indigenous survivors of violence.  Her other current work focuses upon the relationship between land violence, planetary health, and gender-based violence among Indigenous peoples.

kait simsDr. Kait Sims

Assistant Professor of Microeconomics for Public Policy
Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

Dr. Sims is an Assistant Professor of Microeconomics for Public Policy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She received her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in spring 2022. Her research is at the intersection of public health, the economics of violence, and environmental health hazards. She is broadly interested in the ways that individuals cope with uncertainty and social turbulence, including housing insecurity, domestic violence, and poverty.  Sims uses research includes data in all scales, including original data collection, “big” data and spatial analysis, program evaluation, and qualitative interviews.

Kate Walsh headshotDr. Kate Walsh

Associate Professor, Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies

Dr. Kate Walsh’s interdisciplinary program of research focuses on the intersection of trauma exposure, mental disorders, and substance use disorders with a particular focus on risk factors for and outcomes of sexual violence. One line of research addresses risk factors for sexual violence perpetration and victimization in multiple contexts, including the military and college. This research focuses on understanding risk factors at multiple ecological levels (individual, interpersonal, and broader environmental/societal) with the goal of developing multi-level prevention programs that are tailored to specific environments. A second line of research focuses on secondary prevention and treatment of negative sequelae associated with sexual violence victimization including posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use disorders. She is also interested in understanding psychobiological mechanisms underlying the development of psychopathology, including emotion dysregulation and cortisol reactivity, with the goal of translating this knowledge into more effective treatment programming. A third line of research addresses the intergenerational transmission of trauma and its negative sequelae. She has conducted research on maternal stress, including exposure to trauma, and its impact on fetal and offspring development, and she has recently completed data collection for a small study of adolescent girls and maternal caregivers to better understand the role of emotion dysregulation and risk recognition in the intergenerational transmission of sexual violence victimization risk.