Leila Wood


As Interviewed by Nathaniel Heffron, March 7th, 2017
"One thing that is really important to remember about the women that live in these shelters is yes, they’ve experienced abuse and they’ve experienced trauma. But that doesn’t define them. What defines them is their personality and the way that they are just like you and me."
Leila Wood

Introductory Profile: About Leila Wood

Leila Wood has a Ph.D in social work from the University of Indiana and works in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. I met her because she worked with my mom, Laurie Cook Heffron, at the university of Texas at Austin. She has developed the CLASE study, a multiyear study of sexual assaults, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment at UT. She also periodically teaches undergraduate and graduate social work classes at U.T. Most recently she has been working on faster response to sexual assault on college campuses and services to survivors of intimate violence at shelters, as well as a project called VOICE, which focuses on keeping the social workers healthy and happy so that they can keep doing what they can to help people in need.

The interview was conducted smoothly and efficiently, and in a very comfortable environment. The interview topics were mostly about three main topics: her work in domestic violence shelters, sexual assault and domestic violence on campuses, and what kind of sexual assault researching she does, and how it differs from our “definition” of researching. Overall, the interview went quite well, and Leila answered all of my questions, sometimes before I even asked them. To me, this shows how well the interview went as a whole.