Dr. Lonsway earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She then served for two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the interdisciplinary American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. Her research focuses on sexual violence and the criminal justice and community response system, and she has volunteered for over fifteen years as a victim advocate for rape crisis centers in two different communities. In 2012, she was awarded the first-ever Volunteer of the Decade Award from the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center in San Luis Obispo, CA – an award specifically created to recognize Lonsway’s years of service and dedication to this local rape crisis center.
In 1998, Dr. Lonsway moved to California where she served as the Director of Research for the National Center for Women & Policing, taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at California Polytechnic State University, and assisted Penny Harrington & Associates as the Director of Research and Training. In 2003, she joined the non-profit End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) as a founding member of the Board of Directors. In 2004, she stepped off the Board to become one of the organization’s first staff members. Dr. Lonsway currently serves as the Director of Research for EVAWI, where she writes grant proposals, conducts original research, develops resource materials, and provides training and technical assistance for professionals in law enforcement, victim advocacy, health care, prosecution, and related disciplines.
Dr. Lonsway is the co-author of a book with Penny Harrington entitled: Investigating Sexual Harassment in Law Enforcement and Nontraditional Fields for Women (Prentice Hall). She has also written over 60 published articles, book chapters, technical reports, government reports, and commissioned documents – in addition to numerous training modules, bulletins, and other resources. Along with Sgt. Joanne Archambault (Retired, San Diego Police Department), she served for five years as Co-Editor of the bimonthly Sexual Assault Report, which is published by the Civic Research Institute. In addition, Dr. Lonsway has provided training for thousands of professionals across the country and around the world, she has assisted numerous attorneys and testified as an expert witness in both criminal and civil court cases, and she frequently responds to inquiries from researchers, educators, policymakers, and the media on topics associated with sexual assault and the criminal justice and community response system.