Victim Researcher Profile

Researcher Photo

Sharon Brocco Murphy



New Hampshire



Professor Emerita




Social Work


More than 20 years


My background is in social work and I trained to be a therapist through my master’s degree and internships. I pursued this professional role for a number of years while joining the full time faculty at a VT college. Through my doctoral studies I developed an interdisciplinary program of research that aims to utilize research data to create change in justice systems in which battered women are forced to defend their lives or actions. This focus coupled with my clinical expertise brought me to extend my work within the criminal justice arena by providing expert testimony in over 20 cases in which a battered woman or woman who experienced sexual assault was the defendant at trial. My work as an expert spans 3 states and runs the gamut of cases from custody battles to 1st degree (death penalty) cases. An additional extension of my work beyond my clinical experience (30+ years), teaching (27 years), expert in court (24 years), and research (20 years) has resulted in a federally funded (DOJ/VAWA grant to evaluate a sober living home in AZ in which women additionally have victimization histories.. Additionally, I served as a consultant to an American Indian Nation to: 1) assist them in updating their domestic violence law and 2) to evaluate their domestic violence programs and services. My recommendations led to the development of a new position within the prosecutor’s office, a victim assistant, who would help prepare victims for court. This position is still in place as of November 2018. I have also assisted the AZ Attorney General’s Office by facilitating groups for their Task Force on Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment. I was an executive member of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence. I have trained police officers about domestic and sexual violence in Eloy, AZ and the NH Police Officers Standards and Training Institute. I have published 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on domestic and sexual violence, some of which explore the intersections of violence and substance use. I studied Heideggerian Hermeneutic Phenomenology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison during my doctoral studies. I retired from teaching at the University of New Hampshire in May 2015 but have continued my work as a researcher in the field of gender-based violence.


Domestic and Family Violence, Drug-Related Victimization, Sexual Abuse or Violence (other than campus sexual assault)


American Indian and Alaska Native (tribal) victims, women victims of domestic and or sexual violence


Community-based participatory research, Descriptive studies, Qualitative studies


Community-based participatory research, Data collection, Descriptive studies, Qualitative studies