Action Team 1

Co-Chairs
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Shelly M. Wagers, PhD, earned her degree from the University of South Florida, which is ranked as one of the top 10 programs in criminology. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg campus and is the founder of Internal Power®. Dr. Wagers has over 20 years of experience developing and delivering educational classes, workshops, and seminars in violence prevention and effective criminal justice responses to domestic violence. One focus of her research and experience is on helping people understand the internal motives behind their behaviors, and how these can either enhance or obstruct their interpersonal relationships at home and in their career. A second focus of her work is developing researcher-practitioner partnerships with advocates, law enforcement and the courts to develop and strengthen the criminal justice systems responses to intimate partner violence.  Prior to entering academia, Dr. Wagers worked as a sexual and domestic violence prevention trainer and served as a sworn law enforcement officer in Florida. Dr. Wagers has also consulted with local Domestic Violence Task Forces, conducted multiple trainings for Batterer Intervention Program Clinicians serves as an Associated Editor for a Behavioral Sciences Journal and has consulted with the Virginia Batterer Intervention Certification Board on implementing evidence-based practices in the field.  Dr. Wagers has published numerous research articles on domestic violence, authored several book chapters and prepared technical reports for local agencies.  She has presented her research on intimate partner violence at numerous national and international conferences and provides ongoing continuing education training to criminal justice professionals

Senior Co-Chair

Shelly Wagers

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Deborah Sendek, MS, has over thirty-five years of experience working in the field of child abuse and neglect assessment, treatment and prevention. Deb is a founding member of the United States Alliance to End the Hitting of Children and currently serves on the board of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal violence. She holds a Master’s degree in Child Development, Family Relations and Developmental Psychology and has completed Post-graduate work in Clinical-Child Psychology. Deb has served as the Program Director for the Center for Effective Discipline, a program of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center; Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Ohio; and Director of the Family Support Program, a treatment program for child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse and adolescent sexual offenders.

Junior Co-Chair

Deborah Sendek

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​Katherine "Katie" Gotch, MA, LPC, maintains a private practice, Integrated Clinical & Correctional Services, in Portland, Oregon which provides specialized clinical and consultation services for issues related to sexual/violent offenders, individuals with sexual behavior problems, and sexual abuse prevention. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from the University of Denver. She has worked in the field of sexual abuse since 2000 as a clinician, consultant, trainer, and researcher. She first became involved in public policy work while employed as the Clinical Coordinator – Sex Offender Unit for Multnomah County Department of Community Justice during which time she was the principle author of HB 3233 which created the Oregon Sex Offender Treatment Board. She additionally was the content expert and co-author for HB 2549 which developed a risk assessment based level system for individuals convicted of sexual crimes. She was also previously employed as the Coordinator of Public Affairs for the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) during which time she handled a variety of legislative, policy, and media issues, as well as assisted in the development of policy, media, and public engagement resources. She regularly provides training nationally on sexual offense specific risk/need assessment, as well as effective practices, policies, and management of individuals convicted of sexual crimes.

Chair Elect

Katherine Gotch

The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute/The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) serves as the fiscal and logistical agents of NPEIV and are a Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Corporation. 

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