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Helen Kras


I am PhD candidate in political science studying comparative politics with a regional focus on Latin America.  My current research explores the effect of policies designed to combat violence against women on citizens' political attitudes and behaviors. In my dissertation, I examine the effect of policies addressing violence against women on citizens' trust and confidence in government and its representatives (e.g., police). I also explore the effect of policies addressing violence against women on intimate partner violence survivors' political attitudes. To explore this topic, I analyze the effect of access to public support services for victims on survivors' evaluations of performance of relevant political institutions. My dissertation also examines whether political attention to violence against women shapes news media reporting of this issue. 

I am currently the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Competitive Graduate Fellowship. I was previously the inaugural recipient of the Ashley T. Judd Distinguished Graduate Fellowship through the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW). 

In addition to a research, I have also taught several courses at University of Kentucky. I have taught recitation classes for Introduction to Comparative Politics (PS210) and Introduction to American Government (PS101).  I have taught the online course Film and Politics (PS391) as the primary instructor. I also served as the primary instructor for Violence in the Developing World (PS391).  


B.A., Western Michigan University, major: Political Science and History, 2012

M.A., Western Michigan University, International Development Administration, 2014

M.A., University of Kentucky, Political Science, 2020




Selected Publications:

Córdova, Abby, and Helen Kras. State Action to Prevent Violence Against Women: How Women’s Police Stations Affect Men’s Attitudes toward Gendered Violence. (Forthcoming at Journal of Politics)

Córdova, Abby, and Helen Kras. (2019). Addressing Violence Against Women: The Effects of Women’s Police Stations on Police Legitimacy. Comparative Political Studies. Available online at