L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Sarah Jane Brubaker

Professor, Director of the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention, Assistant Chair, Criminal Justice programs

Raleigh Building Rm. 2015 Phone: (804) 827-2400 Email: sbrubaker@vcu.edu


  • Sexual and domestic violence
  • Race, gender and class in criminal and juvenile justice
  • Intersectionality


B.A., Sociology, James Madison University
M.S., Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Delaware


Synthesizing seminar in public policy, theorizing gender violence, senior seminar in criminal justice, qualitative research methods

Research interests

Sexual and domestic violence, adolescents at risk, social justice and social policy, reproductive and sexual health, intersectionality


Brubaker created a post-baccalaureate certificate in gender violence intervention in 2003 and directs this program. She has received federal and state grants to improve efforts to prevent sexual and domestic violence on college campuses and to provide programming to young women involved in the juvenile justice system and trauma-informed training to juvenile justice staff. Brubaker is chair of the iCubed core, “Disrupting Criminalization in Education: A Trauma-Informed Approach.” She is vice president and chair of the anti-harassment committee of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and a member of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Selected publications

Brubaker, S.J., & Cleary, H. (2021). Conceptualizing and contextualizing treatment orientation: A mixed-method analysis of juvenile justice correctional staff under a therapeutic model. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 1-21.

Brubaker, S.J. (2020). Embracing and expanding feminist theory: (Re)conceptualizing gender and power. Violence Against Women. Online First. https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/DGXBHZHA6NYNSVXKFMMQ/full

Brubaker, S.J. (2019). Theorizing gender violence. Series on Family Violence, edited by Claire Renzetti. San Diego, CA: Cognella Press.

Brubaker, S.J., & Keegan, B. (2019). “Suddenly everyone’s an expert in our field:” Campus-based victim advocates and the promises and perils of professionalization. Violence Against Women, 25(9), 1116-1137.

Brubaker, S.J. (2019). Campus-based sexual assault victim advocacy and Title IX: Revisiting tensions between grassroots activism and the criminal justice system. Feminist Criminology 14(3), 307-329. 

Brubaker, S.J., Keegan, B., Guadalupe‚ÄźDiaz, X.L., & Beasley, B. (2017). Measuring and reporting campus sexual assault: Privilege and exclusion in what we know and what we do. Sociology Compass, 11(12).

Brubaker, Sarah Jane and Fox, Kristan C. 2010. Urban African-American Girls at Risk: An Exploratory Study of Service Needs and Provision. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 8(3:): 250-265.

Brubaker, Sarah Jane. 2009. Sexual assault prevalence, reporting, and policies: Comparing college and university campuses and military service academies. The Security Journal22(1): 56-72.

Medicalization, natural childbirth and birthing experiences. Sociology Compass, 3(1): 31-48 (2009). With Heather Dillaway; reprinted in Weitz, Ruth and Samantha Kwan, (eds.) 2014. The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. Oxford University Press

Brubaker, Sarah Jane. 2007. Denied, embracing and resisting medicalization: African American teen mothers’ perceptions of formal pregnancy and childbirth care. Gender & Society 21: 528-552.

Brubaker, Sarah Jane and Wright, Christie A. 2006. Identity transformation and family caregiving: Narratives of African American teen mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68: 1214-1228.