Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence

  • richard gelles

Richard J. Gelles, PhD

Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence
Founding Director, Ortner Center on Family Violence


Richard J. Gelles, Professor, holds the Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence. He served as Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice from 2001 to 2014. And, in 2004, he founded the Ortner Center and was its Director until 2008. 


Dr. Gelles is an internationally known expert in domestic violence and child welfare. He was influential in the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. He is the author of the highly influential book, The Violent Home, which was the first systematic investigation to provide empirical data on domestic violence. His more recent books are The Book of David: How Preserving Families Can Cost Children’s Lives and The Third Lie: Why Government Programs Don't Work—and a Blueprint for Change. He is the author of 24 books and more than 100 articles, chapters, and papers.


Most recently, Dr. Gelles co-authored Current Controversies on Family Violence (2005) with M. Cavanaugh and D. Loseke. And, he just completed the 4th edition of another text, Intimate Violence and Abuse in Families, which is slated for release in 2016.


Read his op-ed, "A better way to reduce domestic violence in the NFL", published in the Wall Street Journal here.




Gelles RJ. Out of harm’s way: Creating an effective child welfare system. Oxford University Press, 2017.


Gelles RJ. Intimate violence and abuse in families. (4th ed.), Oxford University Press, 2016.


Xue J, Fang G, Huang H, Cui N, Rhodes KV, Gelles R. Rape myths and the cross-cultural adaptation of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale in China. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2016 5. [Epub ahead of print].


Dichter ME, Gelles RJ. Women’s perceptions of safety and risk following police intervention for intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 2012; 18: 44-63.


Cavanaugh MM, Solomon P, Gelles RJ. The Dialectical Psychoeducational Workshop (DPEW): The conceptual framework and curriculum for a preventative intervention for males at risk for IPV. Violence Against Women, 2011; 17: 970-989.


Cavanaugh MM, Solomon PL, Gelles RJ. The dialectical psychoeducational workshop (DPEW) for males at risk for intimate partner violence: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2011; 7(3): 275-291.