Victim Researcher Profile

Researcher Photo

Melissa L Barnes





University of Oregon


Doctoral Student


Bachelor's, Master's


Clinical Psychology


2-5 years


Melissa L. Barnes is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oregon. She received her M.S. in Clinical Psychology at the UO and received her Bachelor’s degree, with distinction, in Psychology and Feminist and Gender Studies at Colorado College. She is a member of Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd’s research lab at UO. Melissa researches the effects of sexual trauma on Black women and on college campuses, analyzing both individual and systemic impetuses and implications from an intersectional framework. Melissa and Dr. Freyd are also conducting research on college student opinions regarding different types of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment reporting policies. They were both members of various committees tasked with creating a new Title IX reporting policy for the University of Oregon. The new policy was officially implemented in 2017. Melissa is dedicated to institutional and professional service. Melissa is a co-editor of two special issues for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, titled “Institutional Responses to Sexual Trauma” (2019) and “Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities” (expected publication 2021). She has also been a member of the Psychology of Women Student Advisory Board for four years, which carries manuscript peer review responsibilities for the journal. Melissa’s work on college student perspectives regarding sexual and gender-based violence reporting received the NPEIV Murray Straus Research Award from the International Summit on Violence, Abuse, & Trauma in 2017. On campus, Melissa was a graduate student representative on the UO Police Department Complaint Resolution Committee for two years. She also received the University of Oregon Norman D. Sundberg Fellowship in Psychology for her work focusing on the impact of racialized and gendered police violence. She has taught and guest lectured for a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in multiple departments at UO. In 2016, Melissa was an invited guest at her alma mater for an art exhibit that was inspired by her activism during her undergraduate senior year around #SayHerName and #BlackWomenMatter. Clinically, Melissa is interested in working with racially marginalized women seeking therapy to address traumatic distress or process traumatic experiences, including discrimination as trauma. She has training in evidence-based treatments including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Integrated Behavioral Couple Therapy. Melissa has worked with students and community members at the UO Psychology Clinic, Eugene VA Behavioral Health Recovery and Reintegration Services (BHRRS), and in a private neuropsychology practice. Melissa is dedicated to effective social justice work through conducting research, teaching diverse perspectives, and working with marginalized communities.


Campus Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Abuse or Violence (other than campus sexual assault), Vicarious Trauma


Marginalized communities


Data collection, Quantitative studies, Quasi-experimental studies