Key Speaker 2012
Professor Debra Patterson
Professor Debra Patterson completed her doctoral degree in Community Psychology in 2008 in Michigan State University. She completed her M.S.W. in 1996 at Wayne State University and subsequently worked at a domestic and sexual violence agency for eight years as an advocate, therapist, and director.
Dr. Patterson's interests include; sexual assault victims/survivors' barriers to help-seeking; formal social systems' responses to sexual assault survivors; community collaborative efforts in improving the response to sexual assault survivors; and the effectiveness of sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs. She teaches in the areas of interpersonal practice and research methods and is currently apart of the faculty at Wayne State University.
Her research involves archival and qualitative research to examine the social systems' responses to sexual assault survivors. Dr. Patterson has expertise in qualitative research methods, interviewing vulnerable populations, and program evaluation.
Her research project include; Delivery and Evaluation of Sexual Assault Forensic (SAFE) Training Programs- National Institute of Justice Grant, Understanding How Advocates Can Affect Victim Engagement in the Criminal Justice Process and Understanding Online Help-Seeking by Sexual Assault Survivors.