banner image with text Center for Research on Violence Against Women and UK logo
The Center for Research on Violence Against Women text as a link to the homepage.
The University of Kentucky text as a link to the UK homepage.

Translating research to practice

The Center’s approach to research is embedded in the belief that scientific findings become most meaningful when disseminated in the practice field where they support and inform the work of advocates and practitioners. The Center’s greatest successes may be seen one at a time: when a physician trained with scientific findings recognizes signs of violence and initiates a conversation with her patient; when a rape crisis counselor answers a crisis line armed with state of the art research on the mental health effects of sexual assault; when a judge bases probation decisions on what research has revealed about offender typology and dangerousness; and more.

The Center’s public service efforts are reflected in training programs that offer advocates and practitioners the state of the art information they need. Additionally, the Center hosts research-to-practice events in order to disseminate research findings to the practice field and to update advocates and practitioners on the state of research. The Center also publishes Research Briefs on specific topics of relevance to direct service providers.

Improving the safety and well-being of University of Kentucky women

The Center’s work is not only felt in the research field, practice field, and universities around the country, it is also felt on the paths of the UK campus. In 2004 the Center conducted the Women’s Safety Study to assess the prevalence of victimization among women students at the University. The study results prompted President Lee T. Todd, Jr., to allocate $1.25 million in funding for improvements in education/ prevention; intervention and response services; physical safety on campus; policy; and research and evaluation. The study was replicated in 2007 to evaluate whether the changes had improved women’s safety on campus.

Recovery from intimate partner violence one diploma at a time

In its largest public service mission to date, the Center is presently working to complete the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program. When fully implemented, the program will offer five scholarships to battered women who have been served by one of the domestic violence programs in Kentucky. Funded through a permanent endowment, the empowerment scholarships will cover a significant portion of the total cost of tuition, books and related expenses. Academic counselors and domestic violence advocates will also be assigned to women receiving empowerment scholarships. In 2012 the Center established the first scholarship of the program through a generous gift from Verizon Wireless. The Verizon Wireless Empowerment Scholarship was awarded for the first time for the Fall 2013 semester.

Women's Empowerment Scholarship Program.  Ending Violence Against Women One Diploma at a Time
image of a woman holding books and graduation cap

The Fall 2013 scholarship
has been awarded.
Please check back in January
for next year's application process.

Need for the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

Studies now make clear the benefits of a college degree:

  • On the average, college graduates earn more than high school graduates. According to the Census Bureau, over an adult's working life, high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million; while those holding a bachelor's degree earn about $2.1 million (Day and Newburger, 2002).
  • For women specifically, the same holds true.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011), women over 25 years old with an associate's degree or some college earn about 17% more than women with only a high school diploma,  and women with a bachelor's degree or higher earn 82% more.

Studies also show that battered women have unique needs when it comes to accessing college.

  • As noted above, college degrees have a direct economic benefit to women. Significantly, that benefit can be a protective factor for women against the experience of intimate partner violence as women living in poverty may be at increase risk of victimization. For example, research using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) found an intimate partner violence rate 5 times lower for top-earning households compared to the lowest-earning households (Greenfield et al., 1998); and the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) found that economically disadvantaged neighborhoods have higher rates of intimate partner violence (Benson, Fox, DeMaris, & Van Wyk, 2003).
  • Research also shows that experiences of intimate partner violence were associated with lower levels of employment during periods of abuse, and also with decreased employment stability six years later (Crowne, et al., 2011).
  • When women earn higher incomes, they have more financial resources available if they need to leave an abusive relationship. A longitudinal study following 264 women for 3 years after leaving a domestic violence shelter found that women with the least financial resources are the most likely to be re-abused (Bybee & Sullivan, 2005).

Key Elements and Eligibility

  • To be eligible for a Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, women must have been served through one of the member programs of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (KDVA) OR has an experience of intimate partner violence, rape, or stalking as a teen, college student, or in the family of origin; and
  • To be eligible, women must apply and have been admitted to the University of Kentucky, and plan to secure a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choosing.
  • The core of the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program is a stipend provided by the Center for Research on Violence Against Women.  The Scholarship stipend may be up to $4,000 a year, adjusted based on the level of other grant and scholarship funds available, the need presented by the applicant, and the number of credit hours being taken by the student. The Scholarship is renewable.
  • The Office of Student Financial Aid will coordinate access to state and federal financial aid to which the applicant may be eligible, including academic scholarships, Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships, other private scholarships, and need-based financial aid programs. 
  • Women holding a Women’s Empowerment Scholarship will be assigned a UK Academic Advisor to help ensure their academic success;
  • Women holding a Women’s Empowerment Scholarship will also be provided an advocate from the local Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program to assist them with any advocacy or protection needs.

Attending the University of Kentucky


Students should apply to the University of Kentucky through the online process. Please visit to apply.

Questions about the admission/registration process may be directed to:
Michelle Nordin
Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission and Associate Registrar
University of Kentucky
100 Funkhouser Building
Lexington KY 40506

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Office of the Registrar

UK Office of Financial Aid (Click here)


  • Federal Pell Grant is a federal gift assistance that does not need to be repaid by the recipient. The Federal Pell Grant is based upon the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the analysis of information submitted on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enrollment status.  Currently the maximum amount awarded is $5,550 per year. 
  • College Access Program (CAP) Grant helps Kentucky's financially needy undergraduate students attend eligible public and private colleges and universities, proprietary schools, and technical colleges.   To qualify for a CAP Grant, the total expected family contribution toward the student's educational expenses cannot exceed $4,995.  Currently the maximum award for an academic year is $1,900.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is federal gift assistance normally awarded to full-time students with the greatest levels of financial need and who are Pell Grant recipients. The average award is $600 per year.


  • Federal Perkins Loan is federal assistance based on need and must be repaid by the recipient. The average award is $1,400 per year. 
  • Federal Direct Loan is federal loan assistance which must be repaid. The maximum annual loan amounts for dependent undergraduate students range from $ $5,500 a year for freshman to $7,500 a year for seniors; maximum annual loan amounts for independent undergraduates range from $9,500 for freshmen to $12,500 for seniors.


  • Need Based scholarships are awarded based on financial need as determined from information submitted on the FASFA; award amounts range from $500 to full tuition.  There are specific requirements for incoming students, returning students and transfer students.      
  • Academic scholarships are offered by the University of Kentucky to incoming, returning and transferring students.  The requirements and award amounts vary by the specific scholarship; the bulk of scholarships are awarded to incoming freshman.   Many academic departments also offer scholarships; like academic scholarships the requirements and award amounts vary by department.
  • Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES) is a monetary assistance to Kentucky students based on high school academic performance.  The better students do in high school, the more they will earn toward college or technical school. Graduates of Kentucky high schools are eligible for yearly scholarships if they meet GPA requirements.  Home schooled students or those with a GED are eligible for onetime bonus awards.

Federal Work Study (FWS):

  • FWS provides students the opportunity to work part time to help cover the costs of college and, if possible, to provide work experience in a field of interest.   Employment is based on financial need and can be located on campus or in Community Service agencies.   The pay range for FWS is $7.25 - $10.85 depending on the student year in school and placement. 

Individual Development Account (IDA) through the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association:

  • KDVA operates an Individual Development Account (IDA) program for victims of intimate partner violence. Participants in the program are referred by KDVA's fifteen member programs and several partner agencies (KDVA handles the financial management and member/partner agencies provide support and case management for participants.)  Participants must meet federal income guidelines (must have some form of "earned income" to participate) and agree to attend financial literacy classes.  They have three years to save up to $2,000 which KDVA will match with $4,000.

Other Support Services for Women

Domestic Violence &
Sexual Assault Support

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association

Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program

Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs

Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center


Lexington-Fayette Urban County Housing Authority
Information on public housing, housing choice vouchers and homeownership programs.

Family & Children

The Nest – Center for Women & Families
Offers parenting program, domestic violence counseling, crisis case management, child care and other related services.

One Parent Scholar House
(formerly Virginia Place) Comprehensive program for single parents who are full-time students in a post-secondary educational institution, which includes housing, child care, counseling, workshops, support from neighbors and staff, and special activities.

Child Care Council of Kentucky
Centralized resources, referral to quality child care, information on child care assistance program.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services
Information on services and programs for children and families.


UK HealthCare

Lexington Fayette County Health Department

Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program (KCHIP)
Free of low-cost children’s health insurance.

About Lexington

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau

Verizon Wireless: Commitment to Women

Verizon Wireless is a recognized corporate leader for its commitment to preventing domestic violence and raising awareness of the issue.  The company’s commitment to women started in 1995, with the launch of the HopeLine Program.  Verizon Wireless chose this name as it embodied the positive difference the company intended to make in the areas of domestic violence awareness, prevention and victim recovery. 

HopeLine from Verizon collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories that will be recycled or refurbished and sold for re-use to support domestic violence survivors and nonprofit organizations focused on domestic violence awareness and prevention.  Since October 2001, when Verizon Wireless launched its national recycling program, HopeLine has collected more than 9 million phones.  This translates to over $14.2 million in cash grants for domestic violence organization across the country and nearly 123,000 HopeLine phones distributed for use by victims, survivors and organizations[1].

Since the day of the Center’s creation, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, and the Verizon Foundation have been extraordinary supporters of efforts to end violence against women. The Center-Verizon Wireless partnership has been one of “firsts.”  In 2005, Verizon Wireless expanded the normal focus of their funding support in an innovative direction to support the Center’s very first endowed chair.  The Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair of Study on Violence Against Women is currently based in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the UK College of Medicine.

With the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, Verizon Wireless is again partnering with the Center on a unique and ground-breaking project.  All at the Center are grateful for Verizon Wireless’ financial generosity and for their enduring commitment to creating a safer world for women and girls. 

image of $100,000 worth of phones - courtesy of verizon wireless

[1] Donations of wireless phones, batteries and accessories, in any condition and from any wireless provider, are accepted at Verizon Wireless Communications stores nationwide and through special drives.  Individuals may also donate old phones by downloading a postage-paid shipping label from the HopeLine website.    

Center Director Interviewed for NIJ Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Study

Understanding Scientific Journal Articles

Evaluating research applications that come to your program

Top Ten Things Advocates need to know series logo

A key mission of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women is to ensure that the findings of quality research make it into the hands of advocates. This translation of research to practice ensures that science has an impact on the lives of women and children.

In 2010 the Center for Research on Violence Against Women conducted a survey with over 100 rape crisis and domestic violence advocates in Kentucky about what they needed to know from research to help them do their jobs. Advocates identified ten top issues. A series of ten briefs were prepared by the Center to answer the Top Ten Things Advocates Need to Know.


  1. What services do survivors of rape find most helpful, and what help do they say they need?
  2. What type of sex offender is most likely to recommit their crimes? Incest offenders, rapists, or pedophiles?
  3. What mental health issues are caused by experiencing intimate partner violence or sexual assault?
  4. Do protective orders work? Who violates protective orders the most?
  5. What is the impact of mandatory arrest laws on intimate partner violence victims and offenders?
  6. What are the most significant long-term health consequences of chronic sexual or physical violence?
  7. What percentage of rape cases gets prosecuted? What are the rates of conviction?
  8. Does treatment with intimate partner violence offenders work?
  9. Does a report of intimate partner violence or sexual assault by a partner put a woman at risk of losing custody of her children?
  10. How do women from different racial/ethnic backgrounds experience intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual assault? Does race and ethnicity matter?

Download entire Series here.

Resources for Survivors

Kentucky Resources

National Resources


Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Stalking Information:

Human Trafficking Information:

Victim Services:

image with text Arise from beneath a shadow of darkness within I arise to a brilliance to finally begin by artist Michelle Y Williams

The emotions brought out in survivors' stories are as different and expansive as the experiences they have endured. The Center sought a way to showcase the strength found within survivors' stories by partnering with an artist. Michelle Y. Williams is a Houston- and New Orleans-based artist who became the Center's partner in this effort. She painted Arise, shown here, with the following words embedded in it:

from beneath a shadow
of darkness within
I arise to a brilliance
to finally begin

Michelle herself has become an extraordinary example of an artist's ability to communicate about women's exposure to violence and she became an extraordinary example of the birth of an advocate. In December, Michelle donated eight paintings, which were sold during a gallery reception, to the Center to support our research endowment. The painting Arise was auctioned at the Center's Black Tie and Gown Gala on February 12, 2010. Distinguished Auctioneer Representative Danny Ford structured the auction so that the painting could be collectively purchased and publically displayed in the Center. Arise gives voice to those women who have experienced violence in their lives and is a physical representation of the spirit of a community united to end such injustices. The extraordinary individuals that participated in the auction are:


  • Representative Rocky and Mrs. Leah Adkins
  • Appriss
  • Mr. Bob and Mrs. Laura Babbge
  • Representative Linda Belcher
  • Mrs. Sharon and Mr. Randy Bird
  • Senator Walter Blevins, Jr.
  • Mr. Michael and Mrs. Jamie Bowling
  • Mr. John Y. and Mrs. Rebecca Brown, III
  • Ms. Maria Alagia Cull
  • Mr. Michael and Mrs. Kathy Davis
  • Mr. Dennis and Mrs. Patty Foster
  • Mr. Kenneth and Mrs. Crinda Francke
  • Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Rebecca Jennings
  • Kentucky Bankers Association
  • KVC Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.
  • Mary Byron Project
  • Mrs. Pam and Mr. Walter May
  • Mr. Gene McLean
  • Mr. Kim and Dr. Kristie Menke
  • Mr. Yung and Mrs. Vu Nguyen
  • Mrs. Judi Conway Patton
  • Diana and Carrie Ross
  • Mr. Michael and Mrs. Missy Scanlon
  • Mrs. Melodie and Mr. Horace Shrader
  • Senator Kathy and Mr. Alan Stein
  • Senator Robert Stivers
  • Speaker Greg and Mrs. Mary Karen Stumbo
  • President Lee T. and Mrs. Patricia B. Todd, Jr.
  • Mr. Daren and Mrs. Kirsten Turner
  • Mr. David and Mrs. Cindy Whitehouse
  • Senator Ed Worley
  • Representative Brent and Mrs. Jan Yonts
  • Dr. Jay and Mrs. Sheila Zwischenberger


  • Dr. Diane Follingstad and Mr. Al Scovern
  • Representative Danny R. Ford
  • Mr. John D. and Mrs. Donna Francke
  • Kentucky Pharmacists Association
  • Justice Mary and Mr. Larry Noble
  • Honorable Lewis Paisley and Honorable Sheila Isaac
  • Mr. Barry Stumbo
  • Justice Daniel and Mrs. Jane Adams Venters
  • Mr. Robert and Mrs. Kari West
  • Dr. Connie White and Dr. David Webster


  • Representative Kelly Flood and Mr. Neil Chethik
  • Laurie Depuy, Emily A. Lane and Lana B. Stephens
  • Mrs. Eleanor Jordan
  • Mr. Tim and Mrs. Carol Kelly
  • Dr. Bob and Dr. Betty Lorch
  • Heather McGinnis
  • Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • Mr. Mike and Mrs. Vikki Russell
  • Melanie Smith and Kristi Russell
  • Ms. Marchita Sparrow
  • Provost Kumble R. and Mrs. Mala Subbaswamy
  • Dr. Catherine and Mr. John Woodring
  • Mrs. Virginia Woodward



Contact Us
108 Bowman Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0059
(859) 257-2737