Relationship and Sexual Violence-Assessment Initiative

In 2016, Washington University in St. Louis announced stepping up its efforts to stop sexual assault — expanding both prevention programs and crisis services and launching a new research initiative to develop and test solutions.

The new research institute to be housed in the Institute for Public Health, the Relationship and Sexual Violence-Assessment Initiative (RSV-AI), led by Peter Hovmandbrings together top researchers from the sciences, social work, engineering, law and other disciplines.

RSV-AI aims to develop methods that form a better public health assessment system to inform the design and evaluation of prevention programs and policies.

The initiative includes a series of pilot projects led by transdisciplinary research teams, including both substantive and technical experts, to develop “proof of concept” applications that can lead to publications, externally-funded research grants, and honors and dissertation theses.

This initiative is focused on developing an assessment system to prevent a constellation of gender based transgressions that have a disproportionate impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families across the lifespan including sexual assault, sexual harassments, intimate partner violence and stalking.

A scientific advisory committee will be convened with broad representation from across the Washington University combining experience in student services across programs with professional expertise in relevant areas in sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The scientific advisory committee will meet quarterly to identify pressing areas of research for human services and guide the formation of transdisciplinary research teams to develop and pilot innovative solutions for advancing the state of the science in prevention research on sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

Click here for a list of ongoing projects of the initiative.

Click here for a listing of relationship and sexual violence resources.

For more information about the Relationship and Sexual Violence-Assessment Initiative, please contact:

Project Coordinator: Ke (KoKo) Zhou, MSW 
314-935-8728 |