About Dr. West

December 2012

Dr. Carolyn West is an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. With more than two decades of teaching experience, she writes, trains, consults, and lectures internationally on intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

"Dr. West, you’re valued as a woman of excellence and love for the Nation and the Community

...Honorable Senator Margaret Carter D-Portland District 22

Mission Statement

Dr. West is deeply devoted to creating inspirational material to empower domestic violence/sexual assault survivors during their healing journey, delivering keynote addresses, conducting workshops, and customizing innovative training material to educate and equip professionals with the skills to provide culturally sensitive services. Her vision: To educate, empower, and inspire a multicultural alliance of survivors and professionals to prevent all forms of violence and help survivors heal themselves.


Read her Curriculum Vitae

After completing an APA-Accredited Predoctoral Internship at the University of Notre Dame Counseling Center/Oaklawn Hospital, Dr. West earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also has completed a Postdoctoral Teaching and Clinical Fellowship in the Psychology Department and Counseling Center at Illinois State University and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of New Hampshire's Family Research Laboratory.


Dr. West is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program and was the first holder of the Bartley Dobb Professorship for the Study and Prevention of Violence (2005-2008). With more than 20 years of teaching experience, she has developed the following courses: Family Violence, Psychology of Black Women, Sexual Deviance, and Sex Crimes and Sexual Violence. In 2011, the University of Washington awarded her the Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.


Watch Dr. West in Action 

Dr. West has delivered keynote addresses, conducted workshops, and delivered papers at more than 100 conferences, including those of the American Psychological Association. She has testified at Congressional Briefings in Washington D.C. and given television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews (Essence, Washington Post, National Public Radio).


As a trainer, Dr. West has developed culturally sensitive domestic violence/sexual assault training material for a variety of organizations, including the Supreme Court of Ohio and City of Seattle Human Services Division. She has also delivered keynote addresses and workshops for State Coalitions Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (California, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin) and colleges and universities (Columbia University, Harvard University, Oregon University System).

Book Dr. West for your event


Read More 

As an award-winning scholar, Dr. West has authored or co-authored more than 40 journal articles and book chapters. She is editor/contributor of Violence in the Lives of Black Women: Battered, Black, and Blue, which was published by Routledge in 2002 (winner of the 2004 Carolyn Payton Early Career Award). In recognition of her scholarship, she has received grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Outstanding Research Award from the University of Minnesota's Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community.


Read her story - "Professor under fire"

Her commitment to helping survivors stems from her personal experience. At the age of 23, while pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. West became a victim of academic sexual harassment. Faculty members and students told her to give up the fight. Instead, she became an activist.


After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem within the university judicial system, she mobilized other students, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a lawsuit...and WON!


Her life is a testimony to the power of perseverance and the ability of dreams to inspire and transform human life and institutions. Dr. West has discovered her life purpose: To educate, empower, and inspire a multicultural alliance of survivors and professionals to prevent all forms of violence and help survivors heal themselves.


In her spare time, Dr. West is an aspiring cowgirl who enjoys horseback riding. Occasionally, she jumps out of a perfectly good airplane.