In a Q&A, Linda Williams, Ph.D., and Wellesley graduate Simone Toney discuss their experience updating a chapter on rape and sexual assault.
February 16, 2023
Many findings from the audit are relevant to police departments across the country, according to Senior Research Scientist Linda Williams, Ph.D.
WCW recently hosted two workshops aimed at countering human trafficking in Liberia.
A new white paper investigates the response to reports of child sexual abuse and the characteristics of cases that drop out of the criminal justice system.
April 26, 2022
The white paper from the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative offers policy and practice recommendations to achieve justice for victims, families, and communities.
Linda Williams, Ph.D., stressed the importance of implementing research-informed policies to support survivors of sexual violence on college campuses.
A WCW research team developed a checklist to aid institutions in designing and maintaining user-friendly website content related to the prevention of and response to sexual violence.
May 26, 2020
A report on campus sexual assault by our Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative was published days before new Title IX rules were issued by the Department of Education.
A recent study from our Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative details challenges related to the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.
Assumptions about a potential jury’s social biases are tied to sexual assault cases dropping out of the criminal justice system.
Scholars from WCW investigate how Black women and girls cope with sexual violence and whether #MeToo reflects their experiences.
Linda Williams, Ph.D., comments on the controversy around accusations of inappropriate touching against presidential candidate Joe Biden.
March 21, 2019
A DOJ-funded study from our Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative highlights the striking number of sexual assault cases that never lead to an arrest or trial.
Linda Williams, Ph.D., WCW senior research scientist and director of the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, presented with Melissa Morabito, Ph.D., associate professor at University Massachusetts annual report 2018 Lowell (UMass-Lowell), and April Pattavina, Ph.D., WCW senior scholar and professor at UMass-Lowell, “Sexual Assault Case attrition: Key findings from the UML-WCW NIJfunded Research” at the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Annual Meeting
Dr. Linda Williams is an expert contributor on a podcast about how often cases of sexual violence are reported to police and do not go to trial.
Dr. Linda Williams discusses the ways that perceived lack of credibility influences justice system outcomes for survivors of sexual violence.
Dr. Linda Williams explains why victims of sexual violence don't always come forward right away.
Drs. Linda Williams and Nan Stein share findings on the prosecution of sexual violence and sexual harassment in schools, respectively.
October 30, 2017
Linda Williams, Ph.D., offered a written testimony for a public hearing on domestic violence as a public health issue hosted by the Joint Committee on Public Health and Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators.
The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative
The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, led by Co-Directors Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and April Pattavina, Ph.D., senior research scientists, was recently launched at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Longtime followers of the Centers may recognize Williams, who was director of research at the Stone Center at WCW from 1996 to 2005. In that role, she led the Navy Family Study, a comprehensive approach to understanding the factors that affect successful and unsuccessful outcomes for Navy families involved with the family advocacy office, as well as the outcomes for adults and children exposed to domestic violence, child physical abuse, or child sexual abuse. Williams co-directed the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center and continued her research on the long-term consequences and memories of child sexual abuse. Pattavina comes to WCW from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where she collaborated with Williams and colleague Melissa S. Morabito, Ph.D., associate professor, on the national multi-site study of sexual assault case attrition through the criminal justice system that is described in the following interview. She brings an interest in applying advances in information and computer technology to the study of social problems. She has been invited to give presentations and workshops on the use of administrative data for policy analysis and received an award from The Boston Foundation for using data to drive community change.
Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2004
Linda Williams, Ph.D. traveled to Brisbane, Australia, in September to present a paper, co-authored with Veronica Herrera, at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) 15th International Congress.
Research & Action Report Spring/Summer 2005
In December 2004, Linda Williams, Ph.D. and Nan Stein, Ed.D. met with Orietta Gargano, executive director of the Rome Anti-Violence Center in Italy, to discuss collaborative efforts to stop violence against women and girls in the United States and Italy.
Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2005
Nan Stein, Ed.D., Jasmine Waddell, Ph.D. and Linda Williams, Ph.D. presented at the third South African Gender-Based Violence and Health Conference, designed to bring together researchers, clinicians, program managers, and policy-makers to discuss topics such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, vulnerable children, barrier methods, contraception, gender, and gender-based violence among others.
In fall 2015, the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) launched the Justice and Gender- Based Violence Research (JGBVR) Initiative to build on its work advancing the role that research plays in improving the lives of women and girls, families and communities. Led by Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and an interdisciplinary group of collaborators, the JGBVR team conducts and disseminates research that meaningfully addresses the causes and consequences of gender-based violence and the social, health, and justice system responses to violent crime and victimization. To do this work, the initiative builds relationships with partners in the community, the criminal justice system, governmental and non-governmental organizations, international partners, and other researchers and institutes. Nine months later, the team has made great strides in linking its high-quality, gender-informed research with real action to improve the lives of women and girls in all roles of the criminal justice system—victims, offenders, workers, and policymakers.
Wellesley-Cabo Verde Convening
The Centre for Research and Training in (CIGEF) and the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) held a joint conference, Gender, Social Justice, and Women’s Empowerment, in Cabo Verde in February. Vanessa Britto, M.D., Wellesley College Medical Director; LaShawnda Lindsay, Ph.D., WCW research scientist; Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of WCW; and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., WCW senior research scientist, were among the presenters. Attended by government officials, UN officers, academics, students, and representatives of numerous community organizations and NGOs, the conference symbolized the cementing of a partnership that has been growing since 2013. “Our joint conference reflected an important effort to work across the language barrier to share research and best practices related to issues facing women and girls worldwide,” Maparyan said. “Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from Cabo Verde, the U.S., and other countries came together to learn together, converse about strategies, and build new working relationships.”
February 7, 2005
Linda Williams, Ph.D., explains that memories of child sexual abuse are not always continuous.
According to National estimates, every year more than 700,000 adolescent girls are arrested and brought into the juvenile-justice system. In fact, today, adolescent girls comprise about 28% of all juvenile arrests. Have girls become increasingly more violent in recent years? Is the violent behavior of girls different from that of boys? Do girls need different criminal-justice-system responses to help them cope with the problems they face? And, since many of these girls have experienced abuse in childhood, is there a link between childhood abuse and adolescent delinquency?
April 6, 2004