UCF’s Violence Against Women Cluster researchers work across the disciplines of education, social work, criminal justice, sociology and medicine to create knowledge to guide policymaking designed to reduce the experience and impact of violence toward women.
About 33 million women will experience violence in their lifetimes. In addition to physical, sexual, emotional injury and even death, the economic costs of violence against women in lost work productivity and healthcare services are as high as $12.6 billion in the United States.
Effectively impacting this social issue can save countless lives and billions of dollars.
To better understand the complexity of violence against women and create innovative responses that transcend any one discipline, the cluster studies it from an interdisciplinary approach that merges health, social welfare and social justice perspectives.
The cluster incorporates all of these fields to better understand violence against women and provide insight into preventing it. To support this vital program, please visit here.
Media & Other Resources:
Orlando Sentinel reports, “A new study shows domestic violence incidents spiked more than 8% nationwide in 2020 following lockdown orders intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic — a trend also seen in Central Florida, according to one local leader.” This article can be found here.
UCF’s Violence Against Women Cluster Co-Lead, Catherine Kaukinen, PhD, served as a guest speaker on a recent radio broadcast with 90.7 WMFE, entitled, “New Study Co-Authored by UCF Professor Finds Domestic Abuse Has Increased Since The First Lockdown.” This interview was held on February 26th, 2021 and the audio and transcript can be found here.
Potentially life-saving research by VAW cluster member, Amy Reckdenwald, PhD, by reshaping the way law enforcement approaches domestic violence.
In The News
Violence Against Women (VAW) Research
Older Survivors of Domestic Violence: Understanding Gaps in Systems Responses and Community Services in Texas
Safe Transitions: Longitudinal Examination of Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Models on Survivor Outcomes
Evaluation of the Institute for Coordinated Community Response, The Caruth Foundation and The Moody Foundation, Collaboration with the Conference on Crimes Against Women
Evaluation of Residential Services at Fort Bend Women’s Center, Criminal Justice Division, Office of the Governor, State of Texas
Exploring Protective-Factors for Sexual Violence Perpetration Among College-Aged Men. University of Central Florida. The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training.
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV care continuum among communities of color in South Florida: Patient and Provider Perspectives
- “Prosecutor use of victim video statements in domestic violence cases”, Bethany Backes, Ph.D., Anna Wasim, Ph.D., Noel Busch-Armendariz, Ph.D., Jennifer LaMotte, Ph.D., Leila Wood, Ph.D., Crime and Delinquency: Sep, 2021
- “Examining the Impact of Duration, Connection, and Dosage of Domestic Violence Services on Survivor Well-Being”, Bethany Backes, Ph.D., Leila Wood, Ph.D., Elizabeth Baumler, Ph.D., Maggy McGiffert, Ph.D., Journal of Family Violence 1-13: Jun, 2021
- Domestic violence and abuse through a sociological lens, Alison Cares, Ph.D., Amy Reckdenwald, Ph.D., K. Fernandez, Ph.D. In J. Devaney, C. Bradbury-Jones, R. J. Macy, C. Øverlien, & S. Holt (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Domestic Violence and Abuse (1st ed., pp. 40-54) Routledge: 2021
- “A New Frontier: The Development and Validation of the Intimate Partner Cyber Abuse Instrument”, Erica Fissel, Ph.D., Amanda Graham, Ph.D., Leah C. Butler, Ph.D., Bonnie S. Fisher, Ph.D., Social Science Computer Review: Mar, 2021
- “The Effectiveness of a Coordinated Response Toward Nonfatal Strangulation in Facilitating Evidence-Based Prosecution”, Amy Reckdenwald, Ph.D., Chelsea L. Mandes, Ph.D., Ketty Fernandez, Ph.D., Criminal Justice Policy Review 32(8), 816-840: Oct, 2021
- “Social Disconnection as a Pathway to Sexual Risk Behavior Among Victims of Intimate Partner Violenc”, Jacqueline Woerner, Ph.D., Tami P Sullivan, Ph.D., Violence and Victims 34(3), 508-521: Jun, 2021
- “Understanding the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence Type and Timing on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Knowledge, Acceptability, Sexual Behavior, and Gender Roles Among Women of Color”, Karina Villalba, Ph.D., Michele Jean-Gilles, Ph.D., Rhonda Rosenberg, Ph.D., Robert L. Cook, Ph.D., Amanda Ichite, Ph.D., Pilar Martin, Ph.D., Jessy G. Dévieux, Ph.D., Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Mar, 2021
- “Priorities for Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention During COVID-19’s Second Wave”, Karina Villalba, Ph.D., Jennifer Attonito, Ph.D., Shelley Fontal, Ph.D., American Journal of Public Health 111(3), 359-362: Mar, 2021
- “Measurement invariance of the World Assumptions Questionnaire across race/ethnic group, sex, and sexual orientation”, Jacqueline Woerner, Ph.D., Haeny, A. M., Ph.D., Overstreet, C., Ph.D., Hicks, T. A., Ph.D., Ahuja, M., Ph.D., Amstadter, A. B., Ph.D., & Sartor, C. E., Ph.D., Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy: Apr, 2021
- “People downplay health risks to fulfill their goals: A motivational framework for guiding behavioral policy”, Jacqueline Woerner, Ph.D., Catalina Kopetz, Ph.D., SAGE Journals 8(1), 92-100: Feb, 2021
- “Internalizing symptoms, alcohol use, and protective behavioral strategies associated with regretted sexual experiences of college students”, Jacqueline Woerner, Ph.D., Roselyn Peterson, Ph.D., Robert D. Dvorak, Ph.D., Melissa A. Lewis, Ph.D., Journal of Affective Disorders 283, 363-372: Mar, 2021
- “Commuter Students’ Readiness to Help in Incidents of Campus Sexual Violence”, Julia O’Connor, Ph.D., Sarah McMahon, Ph.D., SAGE Journals: Feb, 2021
- “Victims’ Perceptions of Cyberstalking: an Examination of Perceived Offender Motivation”, Erica Fissel, Ph.D., American Journal of Criminal Justice: Feb, 2021
- “The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Role of Anxiety and Alcohol Use among Haitian Women Living with HIV”, Karina Villalba, Ph.D., Jennifer Attonito, Ph.D., Michele Jean-Gilles, Ph.D., Rhonda Rosenberg, Ph.D., Mariana Sanchez, Ph.D., & Jessy Devieux, Ph.D., Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 29(7), 788-801: Oct, 2021
- “The longitudinal effects of rape myth beliefs and rape proclivity”, Julia O’Connor, Ph.D., Psychology of Men & Masculinities 22(2), 321–330: Nov, 2021
Violence Against Women (VAW) Faculty
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Social Work
Associate Professor of Sociology
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Pegasus Professor of Sociology
Professor of Criminal Justice
Professor of Sociology
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Associate Professor of Sociology
Assistant Professor of Social Psychology