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Jane Palmer Professorial Lecturer Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

Send email to Jane Palmer
(202) 885-3118 (Office)
SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology
Kerwin Hall - 253
Additional Positions at AU
Director, Community-Based Research Scholars program
Co-Chair, Assessment Committee, Sexual Assault Working Group
Member, AUx2 Council and SPA Representative, Diversity & Equity AU Core Committee
PhD, Justice, Law & Society, American University (second field: Public Policy); MSW, Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago (concentration: children and families); BA in Sociology from Smith College

Languages Spoken
English, Spanglish
Favorite Spot on Campus
Bender Library, The Dav, The Bridge

Dr. Jane Palmer is the faculty director of the Community-Based Research Scholars program. In this role, she oversees a selective, living-learning community of first year students who learn how to conduct community-based research in collaboration with a local non-profit organization in DC. She also oversees the Undergraduate Certificate in Community-Based Research, which is open to all undergraduate students at American University.

Jane Palmer’s interdisciplinary research focuses on gender-based violence prevention, help-seeking, legal/policy responses to gender-based violence and measurement/methodological issues in research on sensitive topics. She was recently awarded a Research-to-Practice Fellowship to examine the civil legal needs of survivors of sexual assault for her ongoing collaboration with the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston.

She has conducted campus surveys on sexual assault, dating violence and bystander intervention since 2011. She is an evaluation consultant for Men Can Stop Rape on a federally-funded project on campus sexual assault prevention and policy initiatives at eight local universities.

Prior to joining the AU faculty full-time, she was a post-doctoral associate at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. From 2010 – 2013, Dr. Palmer was a graduate research fellow at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice where she was on a small team of individuals responsible for designing and implementing a Congressionally-mandated program of research on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women living in tribal communities in the U.S. She served as a Technical Advisor to American Indian Development Associates on the National Baseline Study under this program of research from 2014-2017.

Before coming to AU for her Ph.D., she was the executive director of a domestic violence agency in St. Louis. She worked for more than a decade in community-based organizations in urban, low-income communities as an advocate, youth program manager and social worker for children and families, with an emphasis on violence prevention and eradicating sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Courses taught: Community-Based Research, Navigating Childhood, Introduction to Justice Research Methods, Gender Violence & Public Policy, Child & Family Policy, Public Program Evaluation, Qualitative & Survey Research Methods, and Justice in Tribal Communities.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Lindo, J., Marcotte, D., Palmer, J. & Swensen, I. (2018). Any press is good press? The unanticipated effects of Title IX investigations on university outcomes. NBER Working Paper No. 24852

Palmer, J., Nicksa, S., & McMahon, S. (2018). Does who you know affect how you act? Relational distance and bystander intervention in sexual and dating violence situations. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(17).

Palmer, J. & St. Vil, N. (2018). Sexual assault disclosure by college women at Historically Black Colleges & Universities and predominately white institutionsNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 11(1), 33-55.

Palmer, J. (2016). Recognizing the continuum of opportunities for third parties to prevent and respond to sexual assault and dating violence on a college campus. Crime Prevention & Community Safety: An International Journal, 18, 1-18.

Palmer, J. & Alda, E. (2016). Examining the impact of federal grants to reduce violent crimes against women on campus. Review of Higher Education, 40(1), 63-89.

Palmer, J. & Chino, M. (2016). Violence in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. In C.A. Cuevas & C.M. Rennison (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on the Psychology of Violence. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Palmer, J. & Perrotti, C. (2016). Measuring self-reported sexual victimization experiences at one university: A comparison of methods. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice. Published online before print August 15, 2016, doi: 10.1080/19496591.2016.1202119.

Palmer, J., Renner, L., Goodman, L. & Dutton, M.A. (2016). Does type of child risk affect whether mothers seek assistance for intimate partner violence from civil or criminal court? Violence Against Women, 22(4), 474-495.

McMahon, S., Palmer, J., Banyard, V., Murphy, M. & Gidycz, C. (2015). Measuring bystander behavior in the context of sexual assault prevention: Lessons learned and new directions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Published online before print July 5, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0886260515591979

"New assault reporting law should improve prevention," June 29, 2015, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun with Tara Richards, University of Baltimore.

McMahon, S., Winter, S.C., Palmer, J., Postmus, J., Peterson, N.A., Zucker, S.R., & Koenick, R.A. (2015). A randomized controlled trial of a multi-dose bystander intervention program using peer education theater. Health Education Research, 30(4), 554-568.<br> McMahon, S., Peterson, N.A., Winter, S.C., Palmer, J., Postmus, J. & Koenick, R. (2015). Predicting bystander behavior on college campuses: The role of self-efficacy and intent. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(1), 46-56.

Walton, M.J. & Palmer, J.E. (2014). Legal considerations regarding sexual assault victims’ right to an advocate. Sexual Assault Report, 18(1), 1-16.

Savage, J., Palmer, J. & Brooks, A. (2014). Intergenerational transmission: Does physical abuse have a unique and specific relationship with violence? Journal of Family Violence, 29(7), 739-748

Crossland, C., Palmer, J. & Brooks, A. (2013). NIJ’s program of research on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. Violence Against Women, 19(6), 771-790.

Palmer, J. (2013). Conducting a web-based survey about sensitive topics with a random sample of college students. In Brindle, P. (Ed.), SAGE Cases in Methodology. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Palmer, J. (2012). Native Americans and sexual violence. In J.L. Postmus (Ed.), Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts and Recovery. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Palmer, J. (2012). Sexual assault in Indian Country and the Tribal Law and Order Act. Sexual Assault Report, 16(2).

Professional Presentations


Graduate student experiences with sexual assault, dating abuse and perceptions of available services at one university

Society for Social Work & Research; San Francisco, CA


A quasi-experimental evaluation of a consent-based sexual assault prevention program on undergraduate student outcomes.

Roundtable on active learning in the criminology/criminal justice classroom

American Society of Criminology; Atlanta, GA

The risks & benefits of participating in victimization surveys for survivors

Bystander experiences and responses of undergraduate and graduate students

International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference; Portsmouth, NH


Addressing Experiences of Secondary Trauma Among Researchers

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference

Predicting Bystander Behavior to Prevent Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference


Existing and Proposed Policies to Address Gender-Based Violence on College Campuses

American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting

Correlates of Incoming College Students' Proclivity to Perpetrate Sexual Assault

American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting

A randomized control trial of a bystander intervention program to prevent sexual violence

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference

Help-seeking by mothers who experience intimate partner violence: The role of child risk

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference


Examining the impact of grants to reduce violent crimes against women on campus

Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Council on Public Policy in Higher Education Pre-Conference

The differential impacts of a bystander intervention program for students of color: Results from a randomized controlled trial (co-presenter)

American Evaluation Association; Denver, CO

The role of relationship to the victim and offender on willingness to intervene in sexual and intimate partner violence situations (co-presenter)

International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference; Portsmouth, NH

Social desirability and rape myths acceptance: A mixed-methods analysis           

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting; Philadelphia, PA


Understanding the characteristics of participants in a randomized control trial of sexual violence prevention (co-presenter)

Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association; Washington, DC

Measurement issues in bystander intervention and sexual violence research with college students (roundtable convener and discussant)

American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA


Congressional Testimony

Testimony in support of HB 571, Institutions of Higher Education - Sexual Assault - Policy and Survey, Appropriations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates (2015 March 10)

Testimony in support of HB 571, Institutions of Higher Education - Sexual Assault - Policy and Survey, Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee, Maryland Senate (2015 April 1)


AU News & Achievements

SPA faculty, clockwise from upper left - Bennett, Palmer, Moore, and Addington

Achievements ·

SPA Faculty Earn University Research Grants

Four SPA faculty members received Faculty Research Support Grants from the Office of the Provost at American University.
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