UNC Gillings students collaborate to promote awareness of gender-based violence

October 4, 2016

A few of the group's student leaders pose in Armfield Atrium.

A few of the group’s student leaders pose in Armfield Atrium: (l-r) Apostolos Alexandridis (epidemiology), Sarah Treves-Kagan (health behavior), Stephanie DeLong (epidemiology) and Kashika M. Sahay (maternal and child health).

The UNC Gender-Based Violence Research Group (UNC GBVRG) will sponsor two events in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

On Oct. 6, they will present “Ammunition for Change,” a seminar on the adoption of domestic violence and gun control policies across the United States.

On Oct. 25, the group will host a guest speaker who will share experiences with “Sport-based HIV Prevention,” a novel approach for engaging youth in sub-Saharan Africa with gender-based violence prevention strategies through soccer programs.

These events promote the mission of UNC GBVRG, which was created to foster a better understanding of – and, ultimately, end – all forms of violence associated with a person’s gender.

The research group is composed of graduate students, faculty and practitioners, many of whom study and work in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. It also includes participants from the UNC Schools of Social Work, Law and Medicine, as well as from centers across campus, including the Carolina Women’s Center, Student Wellness and the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC).

“UNC GBVRG is incredibly multidisciplinary and collaborative,” said Kashika M. Sahay, a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School and a Royster Fellow. “Every semester we bring in several speakers to talk with students, and we’re always working to expand our network.”

In addition to conducting broader outreach via research, advocacy and training, the group has made a direct impact within the Gillings School. In 2014, they documented student demand for a class on gender-based violence. As part of their efforts, and based on broad interest, Sandra Martin, PhD, professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, associate dean for research at UNC Gillings, currently teaches an elective course on the topic.

Together, members of UNC GBVRG also have developed peer-reviewed publications on topics including a systematic review of what defines sexual consent and analyses of first responders’ training and beliefs about intimate partner violence.

The group’s events are not restricted to October. In April, UNC GBVRG will host their annual summit to highlight student, faculty and community-based research from across campus. Event details will be available on the IPRC website in early 2017.

Students interested in joining the UNC Gender-Based Violence Research Group should contact gbvrg@sakai.unc.edu using the subject line, “Subscribe.”


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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