Forensic Technology Center of Excellence


Just Advocacy for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault

Just Advocacy for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault

In episode five of our Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season, Just Science sat down with Marya Simmons, founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, to discuss advocacy for male survivors of sexual assault.

One of the common misconceptions about sexual assault is that it is always a male perpetrator and a female victim. However, research clearly indicates that males are also victims of sexual assault. Marya Simmons and many advocates like her work to improve outcomes for sexual assault survivors, regardless of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Listen along as she discusses myths surrounding sexual assault and best practices for supporting male survivors 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 [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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

Original Release Date: August 13, 2021

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Guest Bio

Marya L. Simmons is the Founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, LLC, where she provides technical assistance, strategic planning consultation, and training to diverse audiences and communities on sexual assault, trauma-responsive and victim-centered best-practice approaches, domestic violence, victim advocacy, strengthening multi-disciplinary teams, life-skills and self-sufficiency, boosting leadership and supervision skills and techniques, and supporting families of homicide victims. Ms. Simmons is a consultant with RTI International as a subject matter expert in victim advocacy and with the State Medical Board of Ohio as a Victim Coordinator. Marya also serves as a Program Facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio where she oversees programming to elevate and promote confidence and self-sufficiency, inspire high self-esteem, and influence respect and integrity among girls ages 5–17. Ms. Simmons is an international and national presenter, has two degrees in criminal justice with honors, is currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice Administration Master’s Degree Program at Tiffin University, and is also a member of Tiffin University’s Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Previously, Ms. Simmons was the Victim-Witness Unit Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, and in this role, she supported victims and witnesses throughout the judicial system process. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, she was a Justice System Advocate for victims of sexual assault at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center where she supported survivors of sexual assault. Marya is adept to working with diverse populations, providing crisis intervention, and supporting women diagnosed with chemical/alcohol dependency and mental health illnesses. Marya is a Registered Advocate with Senior Standing with the state of Ohio, serves on the Executive Committee for the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team and the Leadership Committee for the Women of Color Caucus, actively supported victims associated with Cuyahoga County’s CODIS Task Force (Untested Rape Kit Initiative) since 2013, and she also received the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s 2016 award for Distinguished Contributions to Victim Advocacy.

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