Champion of Justice: Michigan State researcher receives award


Pictured are (left to right) Judge Amy Ronayne Krause, chair of the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board; Matt Wiese, board member; Dr. Rebecca Campbell; Judge Thomas Cameron, board member; Michigan State Police First Lt. Yvonne D. Brantley, board member; and Sue Snyder, board member.

– Photo courtesy of Michigan Dept of Health & Human Services

Researcher and Michigan State University professor Dr. Rebecca Campbell was selected as the Champion of Justice Award recipient by the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board.

The award recognizes individuals whose work improves victims’ access to justice and policy reforms in the area of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

“Dr. Campbell and her work have transformed the national landscape for how law enforcement and society understand a victim’s responses to trauma,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the Division of Victim Services in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Her research and expertise were critical components in response to the discovery of more than 11,000 untested sexual assault evidence collection kits in Detroit and played a key role in numerous public policy advancements. We are fortunate and proud to have Dr. Campbell as a partner in our work to end sexual violence, improve victim access to justice and promote victim healing.”

Campbell is a psychology professor at MSU and her research focuses on better understanding a victim’s responses to trauma. It has enabled her to provide countless trainings to police, prosecutors, advocates and other professionals on victim-centered, trauma-informed services and offender-focused investigations.

“I am honored to receive this award and am proud of my long-term collaboration with the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board,” Campbell said. “It is a privilege to work with colleagues in victim advocacy, prosecution, law enforcement, nursing, forensic sciences, and other disciplines on creating model programs and policies to support survivors of sexual assault.”

Campbell previously served as the lead researcher for the National Institute of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project, which led to the Michigan attorney general dedicating $4 million to complete testing of 8,000 unprocessed kits in Detroit. Her findings also helped lead to the successful passage of the Sexual Assault Kit Submission Act, which requires all released sexual assault kits be submitted for forensic testing.

Anyone who is a survivor of sexual assault and needs to talk with a counselor can call Michigan’s 24/7, free and confidential hotline: 855-VOICES4 (855-864-2374), or text 866-238-1454. Additional resources are available online at


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