Research Showcase: U-M Faculty Projects on Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Harassment, Part 1 of 2


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Participants : 
  • Lisa Fedina, Assistant Professor of Social Work: #MeToo in the Workplace: Assessing Employee Bystander Behaviors at Institutions of Higher Education
  • Denise Saint Arnault, Professor, Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Trauma Recovery After GBV 


Event Date: 
October 13, 2020
Event Time: 
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Online event via Zoom
Event Accessibility : 
Please contact for any accessibility accommodations

Part One of Two-Part Series

In 2019, IRWG awarded seed grant funding for faculty research projects related to gender-based violence and sexual harassment. These projects were funded in partnership with the U-M Office of Research. This fall, faculty awardees will share their research progress with the broader community to examine how their scholarship is working towards the goal of ending gender-based violence and sexual harassment across contexts. These panel discussions will offer opportunities for short presentations by awardees and deeper conversation with U-M scholars and audience members.

Register Here

Projects & Speakers:

#MeToo in the Workplace: Assessing Employee Bystander Behaviors at Institutions of Higher Education

Sexual harassment in the workplace has garnered growing attention, particularly within the context of #metoo. Women employed at Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) experience high rates of sexual harassment and are subjected to additional forms of workplace harassment based on their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Further, bystanders in the workplace are uniquely positioned to react to situations of workplace harassment. This study explores bystander behaviors among IHE employees’ in response to witnessed incidents of workplace harassment, including factors associated with increased willingness to intervene. Findings will identify areas for training and skill development in bystander programs for IHE employees.

photo of Lisa FedinaDr. Lisa Fedina is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Her research interests include interpersonal violence across the lifespan (e.g., child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual assault), health and mental health outcomes. She is particularly interested in structural factors that perpetuate violence and health inequalities in marginalized and underserved communities. Fedina was the recipient of a Graduate Research Fellowship award from the National Institute of Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice. She has served on various task forces to promote cross-agency collaboration, including the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Her current research projects include several studies on multiple and co-occurring forms of violence exposure, harassment and discrimination, suicide risk and protective factors (e.g., social support, community connectedness, socioeconomic factors) that mitigate risk for both violence exposure, and adverse health and mental health outcomes. Fedina’s social work practice background is in community organizing, policy analysis and advocacy, and direct services to survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and human trafficking.


A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Trauma Recovery after GBV

Gender-based violence (GBV) recovery is a psychological challenge, and includes social integration, seeking care and post-traumatic growth. This project leverages Saint Arnault's and collaborators’ international research consortium selected for their diverse religions, cultures, SES, and gender-equity indicators. Surveys and interviews were conducted with women who identified GBV survivors recruited from service agencies. Saint Arnault and collaborators will compare trauma recovery processes using Ethnographic Analyses and demographic and sociocultural variables. This work contributes to changing cultural norms that inhibit trauma recovery, identifies domains of recovery, makes research recommendations, and provides an interdisciplinary feminist learning laboratory for students.

photo of Denise Saint ArnaultDr. Denise Saint Arnault’s research centers on gender, cultural and social influences on mental health, trauma recovery, and help seeking. She develops and tests her Cultural Determinants of Help Seeking theory in research with women in the U.S., Ireland, Japan, Brazil, Italy and Portugal. In this research, she uses mixed methods to discover how distress experiences, culturally based meanings (such as stigma and sense of coherence), social support, and social negativity impact the help seeking journey. Her Clinical Ethnographic Narrative Interview (CENI) provides a transcultural method that allows people to explore the cultural and social influences in their search for health, and also promotes self-awareness and active engagement in the  help-seeking process. She also examines cultural factors that influence meaning, expectation, and expression of depression. She examines the importance of physical as well as emotional symptom experience for people from a variety of cultures. In addition, Dr. Saint Arnault focuses on the impact of gender-based trauma on mental health, functioning and quality of life. She is currently researching mind-body and culturally tailored interventions to promote mental and physical health for women from a variety of cultures.