Chitra Raghavan

Chitra Raghavan

Chitra Raghavan
Professor of Psychology, Deputy Director of The Forensic Mental Health Counseling Program, Coordinator of Victimology Studies in Forensic Psychology
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10.63.10 NB


2000, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine

1998, PhD,   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1995, MA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1992,  A.B. Smith College, Magna cum Laude

1990-1991, Université Paris (V) ( Participated in the Smith Junior Year Abroad program)


Please see more up-to-date information on my website here.






Selected Peer Review Publications (Please see CV for full list)

  • Barbaro, L. & Raghavan, C. (in press). Patterns in coercive controlling behaviors among men mandated for batterer treatment: Denial, minimization, and consistency of tactics across relationships. Partner Abuse.
  • Kaplenko, H., Loveland, J. E., & Raghavan, C. (in press). Relationships among shame, restrictiveness, authoritativeness, and coercive control in men mandated to batterer treatment. Violence and Victims.
  • Loveland, J. E., & Raghavan, C. (2017). Coercive control, physical violence, and masculinity. Violence and Gender, 4(1), 1-6.
  • Viñas-Racionero, R., Raghavan, C., Soria-Verde, M. Á., & Prat-Santaolaria, R. (2017). The association between stalking and violence in a sample of Spanish partner violence cases. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 61(5), 561-581.
  • Raghavan, C., & Doychak, K. (2015). Trauma-coerced Bonding and Victims of Sex Trafficking: Where do we go from here? International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience, 2015, 17(2), 583-587.
  • Raghavan, C., Cohen, S., and Tamborra, T.  (2015). Development and Validation of A New Sexual Coercion Scale. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 21(3), 271-289.
  • Loveland, J.E., & Raghavan, C. (2014). Near-lethal violence in a sample of high-risk men in same-sex relationships. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 51-62.
  • Beck, C.J.A., & Raghavan, C. (2010). Intimate partner violence screening in custody mediation: The importance of assessing coercive control. Family Court Review, 48, 555-565.
  • Tanha, M., Beck, C.J.A., & Figueredo, A.J., & Raghavan, C. (2010). Coercive control as motivational factor for intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25, 1836-1854.
  • Raghavan, C., Rajah, V., & Gentile, K., Collado, L., & Kavanagh, A-M. (2009). Community Violence, social support networks, ethnic group differences, and male perpetration of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 1615-1632.
  • Kingston, S., & Raghavan, C.  (2009). The relationship of sexual abuse, early initiation of substance use, and adolescent trauma to PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 65-68.
  • Raghavan, C., Mennerich, A., Sexton, E., & James, S. (2006). Community violence and it's direct, indirect, and mediating effects on intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 12, 1-18.
  • Raghavan, C., & Kingston, S. (2006).  PTSD in substance abusing women: The role of early drinking and exposure to violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 19, 269-278.


Current Projects in violence research

Currently, I am working on three projects on sex trafficking and a fourth project on sexual coercion in Spanish speaking participants. The sex trafficking projects focus on the measurement of coercive control and its traumatic outcomes.

Current Projects in Arts Engagement

A second research and teaching area includes the integration of the arts in the teaching of psychology and the pedagogy of study abroad, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Pipitone.

Recent Completed Projects

  • How male abusers use different tactics including coercive control and sexual coercion to achieve control over their female intimate partners.
  • How coercive control (and partner violence) is enacted in gay couples and how these dynamics may vary across gender and sexual orientation.

Research interest

Broadly speaking, I have two main areas of research: the dynamics of chronic interpersonal violence and its traumatic effects. Specifically, I study the commonality of tactics used in different abusive contexts including domestic violence, sex trafficking, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.  In addition to physical violence, many enforcers/abusers use coercive control to hurt or control their victims.  Coercive control is associated with tactics of victim isolation, intimidation, degradation, microregulation, and threats. A second area of my research is measuring traumatic stress resulting from violence and coercive control. I have published over 40 journal articles and two books, and given over 100 conference presentations on these topics.

Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, the broader cultural context of gender and power always informs my research. As such, my research and teaching engage not only with the more traditional psychological factors believed to trigger domestic abuse, (e.g., jealousy) but also consider the larger political, economic, and socio-cultural factors that maintain or exacerbate the violence (e.g., social permission to be controlling). Much of my work is interdisciplinary and international/cross-cultural and I partner with organizations that include lawyers, psychologists, sociologists, social workers, and health care professionals. Internationally, I’ve collaborated with scholars from India, Brazil, Malaysia, Morocco, and Spain.


My forensic practice is closely linked to my research and teaching and includes a diverse international client base. Clinically, I am interested in mindfullness approaches to managing trauma, appropriate techniques for interviewing women with trauma, accurate screening for women in violent relationships, and ecologically valid measurement methods for court use and expert testimony. Working with criminal prosecution, civil litigation, political asylum, and immigration cases, I conduct forensic psychological evaluations, provides consultations to attorneys and other mental health practitioners, and serves as an expert witness in sex and labor trafficking cases, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other traumatic stress disorders.

Classes Taught

BA in Psychology: Psychological Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Global Portraits of Domestic Violence, Gender, Community, and Violence, Multicultural Issues in Forensic Psychology, Culture, Psychopathology, and Healing, Psychology of Gender

MA in Forensic Mental Health Counseling: Trauma and Dissociation, Psychology of the Victim, Family Violence and Disputes, Advanced Research Methods, Research Design Methods, Advanced Psychology of Personality, Clinical Interviewing

PhD in Clinical Psychology: Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior, Diversity, Psychopathology

Study Abroad: In addition teaching a trauma and victimization classes at John Jay, I also lead two study abroad programs, one to Bali Indonesia, and the other to Morocco. The Bali program introduces students to the cultural study of the self and the Morocco program examines gender and feminism in a non-Western context.