Shelly Clevenger, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences, presented her research “Online Victimization of Female Sexual Assault Survivors and Their Families” December 12 at U.N. Women in New York City.

Clevenger’s research was selected through a competitive process. She was one of four academic researchers chosen to present at a special panel.

Clevenger’s presentation detailed the experiences of sexual assault survivors and their families with online victimization—cyberstalking, revenge pornography, cyber harassment, and sextortion—after the sexual assault occurred. This additional component of online victimization is what Clevenger refers to as a “third victimization.” The first victimization is the sexual assault and the second victimization is the often traumatic experience that sexual assault survivors have interacting with the criminal justice system.

In the presentation, Clevenger specifically cited examples from interviews she conducted throughout Illinois. She has completed 79 interviews with mothers, female spouses, sisters, and female friends of sexual assault survivors, as well as from 27 sexual assault survivor interviews.

The results presented at the U.N. Women are part of a large-scale research project Clevenger has been working on since 2013 to examine the impact of sexual assault on survivors and their families.

Clevenger teaches CJS 201: Crime and Behavior, CJS 337: Sex Offender and the Criminal Justice Systems, CJS 342: Victimology, and CJS 401: Criminological Theory. She is also a member of the women’s and gender studies program at Illinois State. Her research interests include victimology, sex offenses, violence against women, and cybercrime. Clevenger can be reached at