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Sexual Abuse Forensic Research Lab

Welcome! The Sexual Abusers Forensic Research Lab (SAFR) is dedicated to promoting and disseminating research related to sexual abusers, victims, and treatment professionals, conducted by faculty and graduate students within Nova Southeastern University’s College of Psychology.


David M. Feldman, Ph.D. is a Florida Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. There he serves as the Coordinator of the Clinical Forensic Psychology Concentration and directs the Sexual Abuse and Forensic Research (SAFR) lab.  He has worked with sexual offenders in correctional psychiatric, and sexually violent predator civil commitment centers.  Dr. Feldman has presented at numerous professional and community venues in areas related to sexual offending, treatment, and public safety.  He is considered an expert in this area and has been called on as a consultant for courts, school districts, psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities.  Dr. Feldman specializes in sexual offenders who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. He initially joined ATSA as a student member in 2003 and has been a clinical member of ATSA since 2008.


Research Lab Members

  • Lab Coordinator: Abigail King
  • Isabelle Anillo
  • Claire Caggiano
  • Hope Marceaux
  • Delta Burchi
  • Bethany Laesch
  • Kelsey Applegarth
  • Haley Barry
  • Samantha Guajardo
  • Lindsay Giammalvo
  • Deja Smith
  • Belen Renteria
  • Tali Shir
  • Richard Amsel
  • Anais Toussaint
  • Olivia Janovy Meyer
  • Soraya Ziemert
  • Carsen Zink
  • Genevieve Gottlieb
  • American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS)
    • Abigail King- “Women do it too: Understanding female sexual offenders in a modern world.” - Poster
    • Isabelle Anillo- “Not Your Grandmother’s Doll: The Implications and Legality of Childlike Sex Dolls and Technology.” - Poster
    • Hope Marceaux- “The Relationship Between Sexual Abusers and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Victims: A Preliminary Analysis." -Poster
    • Bethany Laesch- “Interventions for Children of Incarcerated Parents.”- Poster
    • Delta Burchi- “Deaf Inmates and Mental Health: Barriers and Future Directions.”- Poster
    • Deja Smith- “Exploring Female Psychopathy: Characteristics and Implications for Assessment.” AND “Exploring Erotophonophilia: Insights into Lust Murder, Psychopathy, and Trauma-Driven Behavior.”- Poster
    • Lindsay Giammalvo- “The Impact of Sex Trafficking on Victims' Self-Concept, Identity, and Emotional Regulation.”- Poster

  • Minnesota Association for the Treatment & Prevention of Sexual Abuse
    • David Feldman, Ph.D- Introductions and moderation
    • Samantha Guajardo- Understanding and Addressing Sexual Violence Within Immigrant Communities- Student panel
      • This is a preliminary literature review that will explore the prominence and impact of sexual violence within immigrant populations. The corresponding research project will delve into the intersection of immigration legal policy and clinician-focused culturally informed work that is necessary for providing services to immigrant women who have experienced gender-based violence.
    • Haley Barry- Navigating Justice: Unveiling Judicial Bias and its Influence on Decision Making with Sex Offenders- Student Panel
      • This preliminary literature review seeks to explore the biases exhibited by judges in cases involving individuals who have committed sexual offenses. The subsequent phase of this research will delve deeper into these biases and their potential ramifications for sexual abusers.
    • Kelsey Applegarth- Utilization of Animal Assisted Interventions with Sexual Abusers- Student panel
      • This preliminary literature review examines the benefits and usefulness of animal-assisted interventions with sexual abusers in correctional settings. The current literature review is acting as a pilot study leading to future empirical studies investigating the usefulness of animal-assisted interventions as a component of treatment for sexual abusers.
    • Abigail King- Exploring Therapeutic Pathways: Treatment Modalities for Female Sex Offenders- Student panel
      • This preliminary literature review examines the pitfalls of previous treatment modalities for female sex offenders and what is currently being done to mediate for the gendered nuances of female sexual offending. Future directions for a comprehensive understanding of how treatment would impact female offending and how it specifically addresses the differences between male and female typologies will be explored.
    • Bethany Laesch- Mental Health Treatment for the Children of Sexual Offenders- Student panel
      • This preliminary literature review seeks to examine the challenges surrounding children whose parents are incarcerated for a sexual offense. Topics will include effects of parental sexual offending on adolescent self-esteem, development, and identity.  Interventions for assisting adolescents towards positive self-growth will also be discussed.
    • Hope Marceaux- Deaf Victims of Sexual Assault: A Preliminary Analysis- Student Panel
  • Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Book
    • A compilation of the relevant research that examines the history, legal statutes, treatment outcomes, and social ramifications of sexual offender civil commitment

  • Individual Projects
    • Abigail King- Female treatment providers and male sex offenders
    • Hope Marceaux-Law enforcement interactions with survivors during the sexual assault kit victim notification process: The power of an apology
    • Kelsey Applegarth- Integrating Animal Assisted Interventions in Sexual Abuser treatment in Correctional Settings
    • Lindsay Giammalvo- Identity fragmentation and dissociation post-sex trafficking
    • Deja Smith- Neurobiological and personality constructs of pedophilia, investigating pedophilia as a sexual orientation 
The College of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University is strongly committed to an inclusive and diverse college with equal access and opportunity for diverse individuals based on race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, socioeconomic status, and physical ability. Our programs in Clinical and School Psychology are dedicated to active recruitment of a diverse group of students, faculty and staff, as well as to the integration of issues of individual and cultural diversity throughout the training we provide to students.
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