Assistant Professor Roberta Liggett O’Malley, PhD and Assistant Professor of Instruction Colby Valentine, PhD, both in the CBCS Department of Criminology, received 2022 Dr. Kathleen Moore Faculty Excellence Awards from USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy (WLP) to further their research endeavors. This award recognizes outstanding female faculty who have displayed achievements in research, instructional excellence, and student engagement.
O'Malley's research focuses on image-based sexual abuse, which includes non-consensual distribution or use of intimate or sexually explicit images to control another person's behavior. The goal of her research is to understand how image-based sexual abuse occurs to empower law enforcement to be better advocates for victims and help them more effectively.
"Support from the WLP award will allow me to receive much needed assistance in data collection and coding for a large survey that I'm conducting on image-based sexual abuse," said O'Malley. "This research is part of a larger initiative on the Sarasota-Manatee campus to start a cybercrime research lab. This research lab will allow me and other cybercrime researchers to conduct research on technology facilitated violence and violence against women, as well as other innovative projects in cybercrime and cybersecurity."
Valentine's project, Journey Homeward, focuses on a family reunification and reintegration program for girls exploited in human trafficking. Through a series of sessions, families learn about the trauma their child has gone through, how the trauma has affected them, and how their child may not be the same after experiencing this victimization.
"I've been working with human trafficking victims in New York for the past four years and now, since relocating to Florida, to be able to continue my work to prevent and combat the exploitation of girls in Florida is such an honor," said Valentine. "More importantly, I am so grateful to be able to be able to help provide promising programs and services to girls and young women in the Florida area."