The Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) is the only research institute in the nation that approaches  research about interpersonal violence from a multi-disciplinary focus.

IDVSA is a collaboration of partners from The University of Texas at Austin – the School of Social Work, School of Law, and School of Nursing, and the Bureau of Business Research.  IDVSA’s Director and Principal Investigator is Noël Busch-Armendariz. Deputy Director is Margaret Bassett.

IDVSA is supported through generous contributions from the RGK Foundation, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Shield-Ayres Foundation, and The University of Texas School of Social Work and the School of Law.

Research Spotlight

Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) Cohort Study

As part of the Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) project, IDVSA will be launching the four-year CLASE Cohort study in November 2016. The aim is to learn more about students’ experiences with sexual harassment, stalking, dating and domestic violence, and unwanted sexual contact throughout their college tenure. The Cohort Study is one of the most innovative aspects of CLASE. It will involve 1200 freshman students that volunteer to participate over their college careers. Research activities will include a web-based repeated measure administered once per semester from Fall 2016 to Spring 2020. The longitudinal nature of the Cohort Study will provide a clearer understanding of trends in students’ experiences over time, and of the long-term effects of victimization on student well-being, mental health, and academic success.

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Previous Research Spotlights

Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault

The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault is a partnership between researchers and the UT System Office of Director of Police that intends to fill gaps in current research and identify best practices in campus police response to sexual assault. The Blueprint is a multi-level approach to the complex problem of campus sexual assault (CSA) that builds upon the existing body of knowledge and recognizes the need for identifying emerging best practices. The guidance developed for campus police is empirically driven through in-depth interviews, field observations, and a thorough review of the policies and practices pertaining to CSA. This resource is intended to serve as a guide or toolkit for police at all levels (chief executives, investigation, and patrol) in response to sexual assault crimes with the implementation of victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches. In this way, the Blueprint replaces “tradition with science”.

The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault
Briefing Sheets



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Click for the press release.


Health and Well-Being: Texas Statewide Sexual Assault Prevalence Study (August 2015)

Sexual assault is more pervasive in Texas now than in 2003, the time of the last statewide survey, according to a new study by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Our science today more accurately measures sexual assault crimes while an increase in public awareness over the past decade may mean that people think differently about their own victimization,” said social work professor Noël Busch-Armendariz, lead investigator and IDVSA director.

The survey also found that 2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual assault. Whereas women are primarily sexually assaulted by men, men have an almost equal chance of being assaulted by either a woman or a man.

Final Report (PDF)
Final Report Infographics (PDF)