Just Research on Anonymous and Unreported Sexual Assault Cases

Just Research on Anonymous and Unreported Sexual Assault Cases

Original Release Date: April 22, 2022

In episode four of our 2022 Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Rachael Goodman-Williams, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wichita State University, and Dr. Jessica Volz, Clinical Director of Forensics at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, to discuss why survivors sometimes choose not to report their sexual assault.   

After receiving medical care and undergoing forensic evidence collection following a sexual assault, some survivors choose to forego filing a report with law enforcement. Dr. Rachael Goodman-Williams and Dr. Jessica Volz have collaborated on research to further explain why survivors may choose an anonymous or non-reporting option for these sexual assault cases.  Listen along as they discuss their findings and why research in this area is needed to ensure victims’ rights and choices are supported in this episode of Just Science.  

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

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Guest Biography

Rachael Goodman-Williams, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wichita State University. Her research examines how communities develop and implement survivor-centered responses to sexual assault. She is particularly interested in alternative reporting options that promote survivor agency and how those practices impact survivors' experiences of procedural and distributive justice, as well as their overall health and wellbeing. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on research methods, program evaluation, academic-community collaborations, and gender-based violence.  

Dr. Jessica Volz is the Clinical Director of Forensics at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville, Maryland. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Loyola University New Orleans, Bachelor of Science degrees in both Nursing and Behavioral Science and is a Nightingale Award winner. Dr. Volz is a nurse practitioner with a background in critical care, emergency, and forensic nursing, working with patients across the lifespan for more than a decade.  

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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