Initiative on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment at IRWG

Gender-based violence and sexual harassment are longstanding problems. Though much research has been done to address both, the scope of these problems can seem daunting.

https://irwg.umich.edu/content/initiative-gender-based-violence-and-sexual-harassment-irwg

This initiative is composed of an interdisciplinary group of scholars across the University of Michigan. This group coalesced in 2017 out of a desire to better understand the enduring problem of gender-based violence. In May 2018, they sponsored a Michigan Meeting to bring together researchers, activists, students, and community-based organizations. 

Now operating as a research initiative in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), the group continues to promote interdisciplinary engagement with a particular focus on work that encourages practitioner-scholar collaboration on gender-based violence and sexual harassment.

Since summer 2018, IRWG has provided administrative support and research development to the Initiative on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment. Through a special Seed Grant program in 2019, IRWG awarded funding for five faculty research projects on sexual harassment and gender violence. Additionally, IRWG has coordinated brainstorming sessions with initiative members and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) to develop a collaborative research agenda.

The working group has also drafted a detailed proposal for a new Center on for the Scientific Study of Sexual Harassment and Violence (S3V Center) at the University of Michigan.

Three members of this working group—Lilia Cortina, Anna Kirkland, and Timothy Johnson— served on a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to study the impact of sexual harassment in academia. The committee published a comprehensive report titled, "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine," in June 2018. The report identifies key findings on the causes and impacts of sexual harassment, and recommendations for institutional policies, strategies, and practices to address and prevent it. IRWG sponsored a series of public panel discussions to disseminate the report’s findings.

In winter 2020, IRWG cosponsored a public event on a recently published study of sexual assault on campus, in order to highlight cutting edge research on gender-based violence. Members of the Initiative on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment were instrumental in shaping the public event and accompanying meetings with faculty and students.

Working Group Members:

  • Elizabeth Armstrong, Professor of Sociology, Organizational Studies, and Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research
  • Erin Bonar, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical School; and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Elizabeth Campbell, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, Human Trafficking Clinic, U-M Law School
  • Lilia Cortina, Professor of Psychology & Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Professor of Management and Organizations, Stephen M Ross School of Business; and Associate Director of ADVANCE
  • Susan Ernst, Chief of UHS Gynecology Services Health Service Clinic Operations and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School
  • Lisa Fedina, Assistant Professor of Social Work
  • Anne Katherine Huhman, Associate Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC)
  • Reshma Jagsi, Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, Michigan Medicine
  • Tim Johnson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School; and Professor of Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Shanna K. Kattari, Assistant Professor of Social Work 
  • Anna Kirkland, Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Women's Studies; Professor of Political Science, Sociology, and Health Management & Policy (by courtesy)
  • Yasamin Kusunoki, Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center, and Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research; and Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing
  • Lisa Young Larance, MSW, LMSW, Doctoral Candidate in Social Work and Sociology
  • Michelle Munro-Kramer, Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing
  • Diana Parrish, LMSW, University Health Service, University of Michigan
  • Sarah Peitzmeier, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, School of Nursing
  • Chithra Perumalswami, MD, MSc, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine
  • Sarah Rominski, Research Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School
  • Denise Saint Arnault, Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing
  • Suellyn Scarnecchia, Clinical Professor of Law, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan Coordinator, Law School
  • Isis Settles, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Afroamerican & African Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies (by courtesy); Associate Director, ADVANCE Program
  • Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBE, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Chief, Research Ethics Service, Center for Bioethics & Social Sciences
  • Emily Sheridan-Fulton, Graduate Student in the Schools of Public Health and Social Work
  • Paige Sweet, Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of LSA
  • Richard Tolman, Sheldon D. Rose Collegiate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work
  • Kaaren Williamsen, Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center