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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
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Antiracist Research & Policy Center
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

Favorite Spot on Campus
The Amphitheater

Dr. Jane Palmer is the faculty director of the Community-Based Research Scholars program. In this role, she oversees a 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 has conducted campus surveys on sexual assault, dating violence and bystander intervention since 2011. In 2019, she was a Research-to-Practice Fellow for the Center for Victim Research to examine the civil legal needs of survivors of sexual assault for her ongoing collaboration with the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston.

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 eradicating violence.

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


Summer 2020

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Fall 2020

  • CORE-107 Complex Problems Seminar: Navigating Childhood

  • HNRS-398 Honors Challenge Course

  • IDIS-101 Community-Based Research Lab

  • JLC-680 Intro to Justice Research I

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Spring 2021

  • HNRS-398 Honors Challenge Course

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

  • SPA-096 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Changemakers: Gender Violence

  • SPA-340 Community-Based Research

  • SPA-340 Community-Based Research

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Palmer, J., Williams, E., & Mennicke, A. (in press). Interpersonal violence experiences and disclosure patterns for LGBQ+ and heterosexual university students. Journal of Family Violence.

Palmer, J. (2021). Addressing racism in research methods and statistics courses. American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime #SayHerName Special Edition Newsletter.

Palmer, J., Hoxmeier, J., Fissel, E., & Williams, E.* (2021). #MeToo for whom? Sexual assault disclosures before and after #MeToo. American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Kerekes, K. & Palmer, J. (2020). Obstacles in recruitment for sensitive research on intimate partner violence. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 3(1).

Langbein, L., Ranallo-Benavidez, B.* & Palmer, J. (2020).The anti-social effects of legalizing same-sex marriage: Fact or fiction? Sexuality Research & Social Policy.

McGann, P., Palmer, J., Thomas, G., Ricci, L., & Haake, L. (2020). The benefits and challenges of building a regional network to address campus sexual assault. Health Education & Behavior, 471_suppl), 26S-35S.

Palmer, J., McMahon, S. & Fissel, E. (2020). Correlates of incoming male college students’ proclivity to perpetrate sexual assault. Violence Against Women. Advanced Online publication.

Palmer, J., Winter, S., & McMahon, S. (2020). Matching anonymous participants in longitudinal research on sensitive topics: Challenges and recommendations. Evaluation and Program Planning.

Lindo, J., Marcotte, D., Palmer, J., & Swensen, I. (2019). Any press is good press? The unanticipated effects of Title IX investigations on university outcomes. Economics of Education Review, 73. 

Palmer, J. (2019 Aug 13). New laws give victims more time to report rape or sexual assault – even Jeffrey Epstein’s. The Conversation.

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

Richards, T. & Palmer, J. (2019 June 29). New assault reporting law should improve prevention, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun.

McMahon, S., Winter, S., 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.

McMahon, S., Peterson, N.A., Winter, S., 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. (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

See C.V.

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)


Honors, Awards, and Fellowships


  • Non-Resident Fellow, Urban Institute, Community Engaged Methods working group (current)
  • Faculty Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Center, School of Public Affairs (current)
  • Victim Researcher-and-Practitioner Fellowship, Center for Victim Research (2018 – 2019) 
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center on Violence Against Women & Children, Rutgers University, School of Social Work (2013 – 2014)
  • Graduate Research Fellow, Violence Against American Indian & Alaska Native Women Program of Research, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice (2010 – 2013)


  • Community Partner Award, United Planning Organization, Washington DC (2018)
  • New Scholar Award, American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women and Crime (2016)
  • Gerry T. Hotaling Memorial Student Research Award, International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference (2012)


  • Provost Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentor for Undergraduate Research (2019)
  • Faculty Award, She’s the First Student Organization (2018)
  • Sexual Assault Working Group Faculty Recognition Award (for biennial survey) (2017)
  • Outstanding Service to the University Community, Office of the Provost (2016)
  • Teaching with Research Award, Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (2016)
  • Faculty of the Year Award, American University Student Government (2015)