Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. It encompasses threats of violence and coercion. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual in nature, and can take the form of a denial of resources or access to services. It inflicts harm on women, girls, men and boys.


Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Initiative

The Begun Center is partnering with the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force on an action research project to examine untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) in Cuyahoga County. The Task Force is currently following up via investigation and prosecution on the DNA testing of nearly 5,000 previously untested kits from 1993 through 2009.

Research Team: Rachel Lovell (Principal Investigator), Daniel J. Flannery (Co-Principal Investigator), Misty Luminais, Duoduo (Jeff) Huang, Maggie McGuire, Joanna Klingenstein, Laura T. Overman

Learn more about the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Research Project

Cuyahoga County Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative

The Begun Center serves as the research and evaluation partner to Cuyahoga County and the Domestic Violence Center for the Department of Justice funded Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention (DVHP) Initiative . We work in partnership to reduce domestic violence homicides by effectively identifying potential victims and monitoring high-risk offenders. The DVHP Initiative is modeled after programs in Massachusetts and Maryland, where the use of coordinated teams of law enforcement, prosecutors, health professionals and victims’ services significantly reduced the domestic violence homicide rate.

Research Team: Jeff Kretschmar (Principal Investigator), Rebecca A. BrayAshley M. Bukach

Read more about the Cuyahoga County Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Victim Services Evaluation

The Begun Center assessed the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center's Victim Advocacy Program model, delivery, and outcomes between 2014-2017.

Research Team: Rachel Lovell (Principal Investigator), Misty LuminaisMaggie McGuire

Human Trafficking Courts and Services Evaluations

The Begun Center provides research and evaluation services for the human trafficking dockets in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties, and to RAHAB Ministries, all of which serve juvenile survivors of human trafficking, and makes recommendations for improvement.

Research Team: Rachel Lovell (Principal Investigator), Misty LuminaisJeff Kretschmar (Principal Investigator), Kristen M. Boyer

Learn more about our work evaluating the services and courts that serve survivors of human trafficking

Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities Faced by Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) Individuals

The Begun Center is partnering with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland to study what barriers transgender and gender nonconforming people face when accessing healthcare and whether advocacy led by those individuals can have a community-wide impact on health disparities. Medical providers and staff will be in dialogue led by transgender and gender nonconforming individuals to see how relationships outside of a clinic setting change dynamics between the groups.

Research Team: Misty Luminais (Principal Investigator), Maggie McGuire