Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Introduction

Just Victim Advocacy During a Pandemic

Just Victim Advocacy During a Pandemic

In episode two of our Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with Marya Simmons, founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, to discuss victim advocacy during a pandemic.   

The arena of sexual assault response reform has seen a shift toward victim-centered approaches over the last several years. At Shift in Notion Consulting, Marya Simmons is at the forefront of this movement. She provides training and technical assistance for trauma informed, victim-centered approaches to victim advocacy, sexual assault investigation, and prosecution. Listen along as our guest discusses the beginning of Shift in Notion Consulting, supporting transgender survivors, and resources available to victims during the COVID-19 pandemic 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].

Original Release Date: April 23, 2021

Shift In Notion Website


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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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