Dr. Betty Jo Barrett is a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Social Work at the University of Windsor. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare and Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She the Co-Director of the Health Research Centre for the Study of Violence Against Women and a founding member of the Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group. Betty is a feminist social work scholar and anti-violence educator who studies intimate partner violence in heterosexual and 2SLGBTQ+ relationships. Her research specializes in looking at the ways in which formal service providers (such as the police and battered women’s organizations) and informal sources of help (such as friends and social bystanders) support survivors in the aftermath of violence. Her recent scholarship is grounded in ecofeminist approaches to violence and examines the intersection of violence against humans and non-human animals in the context of intimate partner violence. Betty is also an instructor in the Walls to Bridges Program, which brings together university students with incarcerated students for co-learning and community building as peers in university credit courses taught inside carceral spaces.
Feminism is at the heart of not only Betty’s scholarship but also her engagement with students as co-creators of knowledge in the classroom. Betty’s approach to teaching and learning is grounded in critical anti-racist, constructivist, experiential, and transformative educational practices. She views the classroom as a site for personal, collective, and social transformation and seeks to cultivate curiosity and respect as guiding principles for educational community building.
Classes Regularly Taught
WGST 1000: Women in Canadian Society
WGST 2500: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Health
WGST 3550/SWRK 3550: Feminist Social Work Practice
WGST 3470/SWRK 3470: Social Work and Violence
WGST 3850: Tough Chicks: Representations of Women’s Strength and Anger in Popular Culture and Society
Opportunities for Students to Work with Dr. Barrett
Undergraduate students may apply to work with Betty as a Teaching Assistant for WGST 1000 Women in Canadian Society. Betty also mentors students through her work with the Health Research Center for the Study of Violence Against Women (HRC-VAW) and as Research Assistants with the Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group (AIPARG).
Select Recent Publications (last three years):
Fitzgerald, A., Barrett, B.J., Gray, A., & Cheung, C. (in press). The co-occurrence of animal abuse and intimate partner violence among a nationally representative sample: Evidence of “the link” in the general population. Violence and Victims.
Kcomt, L., Gorey, K. M., Barrett, B. J., Levin, D., Grant, J., & McCabe, S. E. (in press). Unmet healthcare need due to cost concerns among U.S. transgender and gender-expansive adults: Results from a national survey. Health & Social Work.
Barrett, B.J., Peirone, A., Cheung, C., & Habibov, N. (2021). Pathways to police contact for spousal violence survivors: The role of individual and neighborhood factors in survivors’ reporting behaviors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(1-2), 632-662. doi.org/10.1177/0886260517729400
Barrett, B.J., Fitzgerald, A., Stevenson, R. & Cheung, C. (2020). Animal abuse as a risk marker of more frequent and severe forms of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence,35(23-34), 5131-5156. doi.org/10.1177/0886260517719542
Archer-Kuhn, B., Samson, P. Damianakis, T., Barrett, B.J., Matin, S., & Ahern, C. (2020). Transformative learning in field education: Students bridging the theory/practice gap. The British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcaa082 [Advanced on-line publication]
Fitzgerald, A., Barrett, B.J., Gray, A., & Cheung, C. (2020). The connection between animal abuse, emotional abuse, and financial abuse in intimate relationships: Evidence from a nationally representative sample of the general public. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520939197 [Advanced on-line publication]
Barrett, B.J., Peirone, A. & Cheung, C. (2020). Help seeking experiences of survivors of intimate partner violence in Canada: The role of gender, violence severity, and social belonging. Journal of Family Violence, 35(1), 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-019-00086-8
Kcomt, L., Gorey, K.M., Barrett, B.J., & McCabe, S. (2020). Healthcare avoidance due to anticipated discrimination among transgender people: A call to create trans-affirmative environments. SSM Population Health, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100608 [Advanced on-line publication]
Damianakis, T., Barrett, B.J., Archer-Kuhn, B., Samson, P., Matin, S., & Ahern, C. (2020). Transformative learning in graduate education: Masters of Social Work students experiences of personal and professional learning. Studies in Higher Education, 45(9), 2011-2029. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1650735
Damianakis, T., Barrett, B.J., Archer-Kuhn, B., Samson, P., Matin, S., & Ahern, C. (2019). Teaching for transformation: Masters of Social Work students identify teaching approaches that made a difference. Journal of Transformative Education, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1541344619865948 [Advanced on-line publication]
Gray, A., Barrett, B.J., Fitzgerald, A., & Peirone, A. (2019). Fleeing with Fido: An analysis of what Canadian domestic violence shelters are communicating via their websites about leaving an abusive relationship when pets are involved. Journal of Family Violence, 34(4), 287-298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-018-0023-z
Barrett, B.J., Peirone, A., & Cheung, C. (2019). Spousal violence and evaluations of police performance in Canada: Does police contact matter? Journal of Family Violence, 34(3), 199-211. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-018-0017-x
Fitzgerald, A., Barrett, B.J., Stevenson, R., & Cheung, C. (2019). Animal maltreatment in the context of intimate partner violence: A manifestation of power and control? Violence against Women,25(15), 1806-1828. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801218824993
Barrett, B.J., Fitzgerald, A., Peirone, A., & Cheung, C. (2018). Help-seeking among abused women with pets: Evidence from a Canadian sample. Violence and Victims, 33(4), 604-626. doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-17-00072
Stevenson, R., Fitzgerald, A., & Barrett, B.J. (2018). Keeping pets safe in the context of intimate partner violence: Insights from domestic violence shelter staff in Canada. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 33(2), 236-252. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109917747613
Kondrat, D. C., Sullivan, W. P., Wilkins, B., Barrett, B. J., & Beerbower, E. (2018). The mediating effect of social support on the relationship between the impact of experienced stigma and mental health. Stigma and Health, 3(4), 305-314. https://doi.org/10.1037/sah0000103
Grants and Awards:
Select Recent SSHRC Grants (last three years):
2019, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Grant Program. Where Vulnerability and Victimization Intersect but Escape Routes Do Not: The Co-Occurrence of Animal Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence in Canada. PI: Fitzgerald, A.; Co-PI: Barrett, B.J., Fritz, P., & McPhee, D.; Collaborator: Stevenson, R.; $194,438
2019, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Partnership Engage Program. Facilitating Safe Housing for Women and Pets Fleeing Abusive Relationships. PI: Barrett, B.J.; Co-PI: Fritz, P. Fitzgerald, A., & Stevenson, R.; $24,956 (project total with matching funds $42,257).
2019, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Connection Grant Program. Bringing Together Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Sectors: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice. PI: Fritz, P.; Co-PI Barrett, B.J., Collier, C., & Senn, C.; $24,627 (project total with matching funds $45,507)
2018, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Connection Grant Program. Animals and Us: Research, Policy, and Practice. PI: Barrett, B.J.; Co-PI: Fitzgerald, A., & Fritz, P.; $24,941 (project total with matching funds $46,535)