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Dr. Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik

Researcher & Clinician

Dr. Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik is a sociologist researcher, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Certified Social Worker.

Languages : English


Dr. Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik is a sociologist researcher, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Certified Social Worker, Klawsnik & Klawsnik Associate, Canton, MA. She has provided clinical services to older adults and adults with disabilities and conducted forensic victim evaluations for court systems. She has presented continuing education programs for Adult Protective Services systems, regulatory and law enforcement agencies, health care providers, the judiciary, and domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions. Her research and practice have focused on investigating alleged abuse of older persons, interviewing skills, casework intervention and supervision, mental health and mental capacity, domestic violence and sexual assault in later life, and victimization in facilities. She has authored journal articles, book chapters, training curricula, technical assistance materials, and professional reports and training manuals. Her work on federal projects includes those funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, and Office on Violence Against Women. She is Research and Clinical Consultant for the National Adult Protective Services Association, a Content Expert on the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Polyvictimization in Later Life Project, and an Advisory Board Member for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.


The Truth Behind Elder Rape
The Daily Best

September 15, 2012

That head-in-the-sand mentality may be why statistics on elder rape and assault are so hard to come by. One of the only figures available comes from a 2009 study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which found that just over half of 1 percent of Americans over 60 reported forcible sexual intercourse or molestation within the previous year (PDF). That’s fairly low, although it would still amount to thousands of cases nationwide. But experts agree that, in the words of Ramsey-Klawsnik, “there are just no good incidence studies.” Why? According to Joan Cook, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine who studies violence in elderly populations, until about 10 years ago, no one was even asking whether older women were victims of these crimes. “It’s crazy: Women over 65 weren’t even included in these studies.” And even now, she adds, there is little data on this subject that has been analyzed...

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The sexual victimization of older women living in nursing homes
Journal of elder abuse & neglect

2015This study examined 64 cases of sexual victimization of women ages 65+(mean= 81) living in facilities that were investigated by APS and regulatory agencies in five states over a six-month period. Typically, abuse involved molestation (53%) and unwelcome sexual ...

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Informing Evidence-Based Practice: A Review of Research Analyzing Adult Protective Services Data
Journal of elder abuse & neglect

2014The mission of Adult Protective Services (APS) is to protect older and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The complexity of APS cases and the potential for life-changing interventions point to the need for research that examines and evaluates APS ...

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Providing services to people assaulted in care facilities
Reshape-The Newsletter of the Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project

2013Sexual assault interventionists rarely receive training in responding to the needs of people who live in care facilities. Furthermore, they rarely receive requests to assist older adults who reside in nursing homes or similar facilities. Consider, however, the potential impact ...

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Sexual Abuse Happens in Healthcare Facilities—What Can Be Done To Prevent It?

2012Adult Protective Services (APS) workers were interviewed regarding investigating reported sexual abuse of healthcare facility residents. Authorities in five states provided data on cases of facility sexual abuse investigated over six-months. Data were collected and ...

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The sexual revolution's last frontier: how silence about sex undermines health, well-being, and safety in old age

2012Our ageist attitudes toward sex in old age impede the quality of life and the detection and prevention of elder sexual abuse. When sexual abuse is alleged or suspected, responders rarely ask the right questions or take the appropriate steps to assist victims, preserve ...

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Sexual Violence in Later Life Information Packet
National Sexual Violence Resource Center

2010Sexual violence can affect individuals across the life span, including people in later life. The NSVRC has created a series of new resources related to sexual violence in later life. The Sexual Violence in Later Life Information Packet was developed by Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik, Phd, in conjunction with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The packet includes the following: fact sheet, technical assistance bulletin, technical assistance guide, resource list, annotated bibliography, research brief, and an online collection.

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Area of Expertise

Active Ageing

Elder Abuse


Human Rights

Public Policy

Research regarding social services assessment & intervention


Researcher & Clinician Klawsnik & Klawsnik Associates Canton MA

National Adult Protective Services Association Research & Clinical Consultant

National Sexual Violence Resource Center Advisory Council Member

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Polyvictimization in Later Life Team Member




Health and Wellness


Boston University : Sociology & Applied Social Science

Boston University : Aging

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