National Center for Victims of Crime: National Training Institute

My colleague Lauren Taylor of Defend Yourself! and I are off to present at the National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute in Anaheim, CA. Participants will experience an Empowerment Self-Defense class led by Lauren. Speaking from a social work perspective, I will present evidence supporting ESD as a uniquely effective prevention strategy that delivers particular benefits to survivors of trauma.

Our slide presentation draws heavily from my research into ESD and the neurobiology of trauma. Check out the NCVC deck here, or scroll down on this blog for the supporting research paper and extended PowerPoint presentations. 

Neurobiology, sexual trauma, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Research Paper


This paper unites the perspectives of three unique disciplines – empowerment self- defense (ESD), social work, and neurobiology – relating to the interdependent issues of prevention and treatment of trauma related to sexual violence. The discussion is informed by public health, criminal justice, and social science perspectives on population-level trends in victimization, prevention strategies, survivor experiences, and clinical and adjunctive interventions addressing PTSD. It suggests the relevance of ESD to the field of social work, and recommends future directions for research.

I wrote this paper as part of my class work with Professor Jessica Black at the Boston College School of Social Work.

Download PDF here:

Neurobiology, sexual trauma, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Research Paper 

Neurobiology, sexual violence, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Annotated Bibliography


I prepared this annotated bibliography as part of my research for Professor Jessica Black's class at Boston College School of Social Work and to inform several professional projects. This is only a fraction of the evidence base describing what we know about prevention of sexual violence and the neurobiological impact of interpersonal trauma.

Download the PDF here: 

Annotated Bibliography