Jess is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Judith Lumley Centre where she is currently researching drug and alcohol-facilitated sexual violence and evaluating the Enhance, Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) program that seeks to empower young women in their first year of university. The EAAA program, adapted from the Canadian SARE Center, is the best practice for helping women resist acquaintance sexual assault. Jess is the coordinator of the La Trobe Violence Against Women Network (LAVAWN).
She was previously a researcher for the ANROWS "What Works" project, which built an online portal of the evidence base for best practice interventions for preventing and responding to domestic, sexual and family violence. Jess was also previously a researcher on the TramLAB project, examining how to make public transport safer for women and a researcher for the Australian Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Project, which identified effective sexual violence and harassment primary prevention interventions and mapped out a Theory of Change for the Australian Government.
Jess' scholarship engages with emerging legal and social challenges in regulating sex and sexuality with a particular focus on sexual violence, LGBTIQ communities and animals. Her PhD dissertation examined the criminalisation of sex and sexuality with cross-disciplinary engagements with queer and animal studies. She analysed the function of sex offender registries, critiqued laws pertaining to animal sexual assault and queried how sexual assault discourses further entrench social inequality.
Alongside this, Jess lectures and tutors in Nursing & Midwifery, Gender Studies and Criminology and Legal Studies.