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Journal of Gender-Based Violence 
Special Issue
Call for abstracts
Vicarious trauma prevention for gender-based violence researchers


Guest editors:

Molly Dragiewicz
Associate Professor
Criminology & Criminal Justice 

Griffith University


Bethany L. Backes                                      

Associate Professor & Cluster Lead

Violence Against Women Faculty Cluster

Department of Criminal Justice | School of Social Work

University of Central Florida


This special issue will highlight research and strategies for researcher and student training to identify and address vicarious trauma throughout the research process. As the field of gender-based violence research expands, so does the number of researchers and graduate students exposed to vicarious trauma. Doing research on trauma often includes learning about survivors’ experiences, which can have a cumulative effect on researchers. Vicarious trauma can result from engagement with survivors, victims’ loved ones, perpetrators,  and the institutions charged with responding to violence and abuse. In addition, many GBV researchers have lived experience which may affect the experience of vicarious trauma. 


This special issue will build the knowledge base on vicarious trauma prevention to better address vicarious trauma for emerging and experienced researchers.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Strategies for researcher/mentor well-being

  • Assessing student readiness to study gender-based violence

  • Separating therapeutic and educational goals

  • Setting effective boundaries for supervisors and researchers

  • Understanding institutional resources and policies

  • Physical and psychological safety 

  • Establishing vicarious trauma prevention infrastructure to support student training and researcher longevity


We are seeking conceptual or empirically based articles (maximum 7,000 words) for the Main section, or shorter pieces (2,000-4,000 words) for the Policy and Practice or Open Space sections. Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted via this link:  by 1 February 2024  for consideration by the Guest Editors. Completed articles will be required by 31 August 2024. 

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