One of the key goals of the JUSTICE and Gender Based Violence Research initiative is to understand and improve just outcomes in response to violence against women and children. We are interested in a variety of questions including what is justice and how can it be achieved, how does the system in place work to achieve justice (e.g., criminal courts, police, prosecutors, prisons, community interventions, as well as civil and extra judicial investigatory and adjudication processes) and how can these systems be improved? This work also includes understanding the role of technology and forensics in achieving justice for those impacted by gender-based violence and child abuse and examination of factors that can impact memory for traumatic events.
A variety of collaborative research designs have been employed in this work and future comparative and international work planned. Our research has involved interviews with victims to understand the consequences of sexual violence and child maltreatment and well as examination of the secondary impact on victims of involvement in the justice system. We have examined and continue to work to understand the system responses sexual violence and child abuse and how or whether advances in detection, reporting, services, prevention programs, and interventions work.
The JGBVR initiative conducts collaborative research and develops policy recommendations on Justice System responses to gender-based violence. For example, we have used a qualitative method to understand the lives of commercially sexual exploited children and adolescents and concluded that committing law enforcement efforts to arresting the perpetrators and ceasing the practice of arresting juveniles who were sexually exploited is necessary. These actions require a shift in the way we understand social control of youth and how we view the relationship between the state, teens and their families.
Interventions for justice-involved women and children are also a focus of this work. This includes assuring that justice-involved women and children are able to access community based support services to aid in recovery.
We have current projects focusing on understanding how the justice system responds to sexual assault victimization and child abuse. This includes research on the challenges confronted in investigating and prosecuting sexual violence perpetrated against children and adults.
- Decision-Making in Sexual Assault Cases: Multi-site Replication Research on Sexual Violence Case Attrition in the U.S.
- Sexual Assault Forensic Exams—DNA and Justice Responses to Sexual Assault
- The prosecution of child sexual abuse: A partnership to improve outcomes
- Pathways into and out of Commercial Sexual Victimization of Children: A Life Course Perspective
- Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus
- Recovered Memory of Child Sexual Abuse