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Michele R. Decker, ScD

  • Associate Professor

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Center & Institute Affiliations

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615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E4142
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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ScD, Harvard School of Public Health, 2008
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002
BA, University of Rochester, 1998


Michele R. Decker, ScD, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She directs the Women's Health & Rights Program of the Center for Public Health & Human Rights.   A social epidemiologist by training, her research focuses on gender-based violence (e.g., sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sex trafficking), its prevention, and its implications for sexual and reproductive health (e.g., STI/HIV, unintended pregnancy).  Much of this work involves marginalized populations including urban women, adolescents and those involved in transactional sex or sex work.  Her work includes clinic-based intervention efforts to mitigate the health consequences of violence, as well as primary research to understand the mechanisms by which violence influences sexual health and HIV risk.  She blends  large-scale quantitative investigations with qualitative methods.   She works domestically as well as in South and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.

  • Women’s health
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • HIV
  • intimate partner violence
  • sexual assault
  • gender-based violence
  • sex workers
  • sex trafficking
  • adolescent health
  • maternal and child health
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Russia
  • public health and human rights

Selected publications from the last 5 years focused on empowerment, violence and other social determinants of women's sexual/reproductive health including HIV.

  • Decker MR, Pearson E, Illangasekare SL, Clark E*, Sherman SG. Violence against women in sex work and HIV risk implications differ qualitatively by perpetrator. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(1):876.
  • Decker MR, Peitzmeier S, Olumide A, Acharya R, Ojengbede O, Covarrubias L, Gao E, Cheng Y, Delany-Moretlwe S, Brahmbhatt H. Prevalence and health impact of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence among female adolescents aged 15-19 years in vulnerable urban environments: A multi-country study. J Adol Health. 2014. 6S(55):S6-12.
  • Decker MR, Latimore AD, Yasutake S, Haviland M, Ahmed S, Blum RW, Sonenstein F, Astone NM. Gender-based violence against adolescent and young adult women in low and middle income countries. J Adol Health. 2015;56(2):188-96.
  • Decker MR, Benning L, Weber KM, Sherman SG, Adedimeji A, Wilson TE, Cohen J, Plankey M, Cohen M, Golub ET. Physical and sexual violence predictors: 20 years of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Cohort. Am J Prev Med. 2016;51(5):731-742
  • Decker MR, Kalamar A, Tuncalp O; Hindin, MJ. Early adolescent childbearing in low- and middle-income countries: associations with income inequity, human development and gender equality. Health Policy Plan. 2017;32(2):277-282.