Dr. Abigail Hatcher

Abigail M. Hatcher, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior


Hatcher explores and intervenes on social determinants of health. Her current studies include prenatal safety planning, digital chatbots for safer relationships, couples home visits and health sector capacity building.

Abigail Hatcher in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Innovation in Teaching Award
2023, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Young Investigator Research Award
2015, Sexual Violence Research Initiative

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar
2005, Rotary International

Teaching Interests

Hatcher leads HBEH 780: Program Planning for Global Health and co-designed and teaches HBEH 532: Development & Evaluation of Health Behavior Interventions.  She is a faculty mentor for the UUW Partnership for Women’s Health Research and a the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellowship

Research Activities

Hatcher examines the efficacy of social interventions through randomized control trials, longitudinal modeling and qualitative mechanisms research. Her current studies include prenatal safety planning, digital chatbots for safer relationships, couples home visits and health sector capacity building.

Service Activities

Hatcher has an interest in translating social science into accessible formats. Her research on food insecurity and perpetration of partner violence was featured in the documentary “Food Apartheid.” She has written in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hill and Daily Maverick.

Hatcher is an editorial board member of AIDS and associate editor at BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. She co-edited a Culture, Health & Sexuality special issue on gender justice in sexual and reproductive health.

Practice Activities

In South Africa, Hatcher helped add violence prevention to maternal health policy (PDF) and co-wrote a presidential declaration (PDF) led to new national legislation around the health sector’s role in responding to violence. (PDF).

Hatcher has contributed to WHO guidance on maternal mental health, and UN Women guidance on innovation in violence prevention.

Key Publications

Longitudinal association between intimate partner violence and viral suppression during pregnancy and postpartum in South African women. Hatcher, A. M., Brittain, K., Phillips, T.K., Zerbe, A., Abrams, E.J., Myer, L. (2021). AIDS, 35(5), 791-799.

Systematic review of food insecurity and violence against women and girls: Mixed methods findings from low- and middle-income settings. Hatcher, A. M., S. Page, L. Aletta van Eck, I. Pearson, R. Fielding-Miller, C. Mazars and H. Stockl (2022). PLOS Glob Public Health, 2(9), e0000479.

Intimate partner violence and HIV treatment adherence in urban South Africa: Mediating role of perinatal common mental disorders. Hatcher, A. M., J. M. Turan, H. Stockl, N. Woollett, C. Garcia-Moreno and N. J. Christofides (2022). SSM Ment Health, 2: 100112.

Gendered syndemic of intimate partner violence, alcohol misuse, and HIV risk among peri-urban, heterosexual men in South Africa. Hatcher, A. M., A. Gibbs, R. S. McBride, D. Rebombo, M. Khumalo and N. J. Christofides (2022). Soc Sci Med, 295: 112637.


  • PhD, Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, 2017
  • MPhil, Sociology (Development Studies), University of Cape Town, 2005
  • BS, International Business, Washington University in St Louis, 2001