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Shana Maier Releases New Book on the Experiences and Perceptions of Rape Investigators

Dr. Shana L. Maier

Dr. Shana L. Maier, associate professor and director of the Master’s in Criminal Justice Program at Widener University, has published “Rape, Victims and Investigations,” (Routledge), which describes the experiences and perceptions of law enforcement officers who have responded to reported rapes.

Maier integrates previous research with rich data gathered through interviews with 40 detectives in two states to help readers better understand the processing of rape cases through the criminal justice and legal systems.

In the book, Maier addresses a range of important issues, including factors that contribute to the challenging nature of rape investigations, such as lack of evidence or a clear, credible victim statement; detectives' perceptions of victims' revictimization by the criminal justice and legal systems; and specific causes of police stress and burnout related to working rape cases. Maier also looks at financial struggles faced by police departments and ways to meet these challenges.

"As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, law enforcement officers are important to the processing of rape cases, and their interactions with victims can potentially affect the victim's reaction to and recovery from rape," Maier said. "I hope that this book provides insight for readers who provide services to sexual assault victims and victims themselves and contributes to improved treatment of victims by the criminal justice system and perhaps policy changes to support this."

In addition to law enforcement officers and others who provide services for rape victims, Maier sees "Rape, Victims and Investigations" as a valuable read for rape victims, scholars, professors and sexual violence researchers. The book is currently available for sale through Amazon and Routledge.

About Dr. Maier
Shana L. Maier, Ph.D., received her B.S. and M.S. in criminal justice from Saint Joseph's University and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Delaware. She has taught at Widener University since 2005, and is currently director of the Master's in Criminal Justice Program. Her research interests have included intimate partner violence, the treatment of rape victims by the criminal justice system and medical and legal systems, the transformation of rape crisis centers, and the experiences and perceptions of rape victim advocates, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and law enforcement officers who respond to rape victims. She is co-author of "Women, Men, and Society."

About Widener University
Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website,