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Leija, Gisela
Doctoral Student, Human Development and Family Studies

vaw_icon_pdf_sm  Curriculum Vitae


Gisela Leija is a doctoral student in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Michigan State University, Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her research is centered on creating and implementing culturally informed interventions with an emphasis on sexual health education in Latino communities. Specifically, she is interested in exploring how gender scripts (i.e. machismo and marianismo) play a role in gender-based violence and dictate expectations of sexual behavior. She is committed to working with diverse and underrepresented communities of color and is an advocate for the dissemination of culturally sensitive interventions in both clinical and community-based settings. Her dedication to these underserved communities has resulted in funding from SAMHSA as Fellow in the Minority Fellowship Program for two consecutive years. Gisela is also a bilingual family therapist and is conducting her clinical practicum at the MSU Couple and Family Therapy Clinic.


About RCGV

MSU’s Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence faculty and staff are dedicated to research and outreach initiatives related to ending and preventing gender-based violence and improving the community response to survivors. RCGV faculty are committed to mentoring the next generation of gender-based violence researchers by providing substantial educational and employment opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a significant and widespread social problem internationally, devastating adults, children, families and societies across the globe. It includes any form of harm that is both a consequence and cause of gender power inequities. It can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, or sociocultural, and includes but is not limited to sexual abuse, rape, intimate partner abuse, incest, sexual harassment, stalking, femicide, trafficking, gendered hate crimes and dowry abuse. Gender-based violence intersects with race-based, class-based or religiously oppressive forms of abuse, and cross-cuts many other social problems (e.g., poverty, substance abuse, mental and physical health, crime).

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