Claire M. Renzetti, Ph.D.

Judi Conway Patton
Endowed Chair
Department of Sociology
UK College of Arts & Sciences
1501 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
Office: (859) 257-6424
Link to CV: Renzetti




Claire Renzetti, Ph.D. currently serves as the Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women. She also serves as Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware.

Dr. Renzetti is an internationally recognized scholar on gender and crime issues. Her research and community engagement have received regional and national recognition, most recently by the Women and Crime Division of the American Society of Criminology, from whom she received the Saltzman Award for Contributions to Practice, an award that recognizes a criminologist whose professional accomplishments have increased the quality of justice and the level of safety for women.

Much of Dr. Renzetti’s research has focused on the violent victimization experiences of socially and economically marginalized groups of women, including women living in poverty and women in same-sex intimate partnerships. Her current research focuses on human trafficking, particularly domestic sex trafficking, as well as services for trafficking victims. She also examines the effects of religiosity and religious self-regulation on intimate partner violence perpetration and victimization. Additionally, she evaluates the potential benefits of a therapeutic horticulture program for residents of a battered women's shelter.


Ongoing Research


A Collaboration to Evaluate the Outcomes of a Therapeutic Horticulture Program at a Domestic Violence Shelter: 

Therapeutic horticulture (TH) programs have produced beneficial outcomes for various vulnerable, at-risk populations, but empirical evidence demonstrating benefits for intimate partner violence (IPV) victims is lacking. This study uses a quasi-experimental, mixed methods design to 1) evaluate the therapeutic and self-sufficiency benefits of a TH farm program for residents at a domestic violence shelter and following their shelter stay; and 2) provide shelter staff with research expertise to increase their capacity for program evaluation beyond the grant period.

Religiosity, Religious Self-Regulation, and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration:

This series of studies, using national, community-based samples of men and women, examines how religious self-regulation in conjunction with other variables, including hostile sexism, alcohol use, social dominance orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism may contribute to the likelihood of IPV perpetration.


Areas of Specialization
  • Criminology and Sociology of Law
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Marriage, Families, and Intimate Relationships
  • Social Movements
Teaching Interests
Dr. Renzetti's teaching interests focus on interpersonal violence, gender and crime, and mixed methods research design.
Click here for access to selected published works for Dr. Claire Renzetti