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Photograph of Jane Palmer

Jane Palmer Associate Professor Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

Additional Positions at AU
Faculty Affiliate, Antiracist Research & Policy Center
Director, Undergraduate Certificate in Community-Based Research
PhD, Justice, Law & Society, American University (concentration: Justice & Public Policy)
MSW, Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago (concentration: children and families)
BA, Sociology, Smith College

Favorite Spot on Campus
The Amphitheater

Dr. Jane Palmer is an Associate Professor with a primary focus on community-based participatory research, help-seeking, and ending gender-based violence.

She was recently named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leader, a grant and fellowship program that supports a three-year community-based research project with her colleague, Dr. Jessica Owens-Young. For this project, Dr. Owens-Young and Dr. Palmer are collaborating with DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Healing Equity United.

At American University, she is the founder of the Community-Based Research Scholars program, the director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Community-Based Research, and is affiliated with the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, the Metropolitan Policy Center, the Department of Critical, Race, Gender, & Culture Studies, and the Department of Sociology. She served as an Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow at AU’s Center for Teaching, Research, & Learning from 2021-2023.

Her external affiliations include serving as a Non-Resident Fellow in Community Engaged Methods at the Urban Institute and as a Board Member of the Chicago Freedom School.

Before coming to AU for her Ph.D., Dr. Palmer was the executive director of a domestic violence and youth violence prevention organization in St. Louis. She worked in paid and volunteer positions for more than a decade in grassroots and community-based organizations in Chicago and St. Louis as an organizer, advocate, prevention specialist, youth program manager, and social worker for children and families, with an emphasis on eradicating violence.

Courses taught:
Navigating Childhood, Community-Based Research, Ending Gender-Based Violence, Justice in Tribal Communities, Intro to Justice Research Methods (undergrad & grad), Intro to Transformative Justice, Public Program Evaluation, Qualitative & Survey Research Methods, and Statistics.


Spring 2024

  • JLC-280 Intro to Justice Research

  • JLC-280 Intro to Justice Research

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

  • SPA-075 Changemakers Series: Changemakers: Gender Violence

Summer 2024

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Fall 2024

  • JLC-280 Intro to Justice Research

  • JLC-688 Intro Counterterrorism Res II

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

LaFortune, L., Palmer, J., Negrón, V. & Abreu, S.* (2023). Advancing strategies to address racism and white dominant culture in US anti-gender-based violence non-profit organizations. Journal of Participatory Research Methods.

Palmer, J. & Hoxmeier, J. (2022). Bystander opportunity, actions, and inaction in suspected intimate partner violence: Differences between graduate and undergraduate students. Violence & Victims, 37(6), 837-854.

Palmer, J., Rajah, V., & Wilson, S. (2022a). Anti-racism and intersectionality in feminist criminology and academia: Introduction to a special issue. Race & Justice, 12(3), 451-456.

Palmer, J., Rajah, V., & Wilson, S. (2022b). Anti-racism in criminology: An oxymoron or the way forward? Race & Justice, 12(3), 531-547.

Rajah, V., Palmer, J., & Dugan, M. (2022). The personal is political and so is discomfort: Intersectional, anti-racist praxis in feminist criminology. Race & Justice, 12(3), 548-568.

Palmer, J., Morgan, J.,* Hinojosa, S.,* Olomi, J.,* Ayala, L.,* & Rosay, A. (2022). Anti-racist & intersectional approaches in social science and community-based research. Social Justice Research Methods for Doctoral Research. IGI Global.

Palmer, J., Rucker, J., Negron, V., Harrison, A., Debebe, K.* & Lawrence, C.* (2022). Youth-led action research: Lessons learned from a university-community partnership in Washington DC. Social Justice Research Methods for Doctoral Research. IGI Global.

Palmer, J., Williams, E., & Mennicke, A. (2021). Interpersonal violence experiences and disclosure patterns for LGBQ+ and heterosexual university studentsJournal 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


  • Interdisciplinary Research Leader, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2022 - present)
  • Humanities Truck Fellow, American Univeristy (2022 - 2023)
  • Non-Resident Fellow, Urban Institute, Community-Engaged Methods Group (2019 - present)


  • Sarah Hall Award (for taking the lead in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the division), American Society of Criminology, Division of Feminist Criminology (2023)
  • 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)