M. Alexis Kennedy

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Research Fellow for the Center for Crime and Justice Policy
Expertise: Trauma, Child abuse, Sexual assault, Human trafficking, Domestic violence, Juvenile delinquency


M. Alexis Kennedy brings a forensic psychology perspective to studying victimization and children’s issues. Her areas of research include trauma, child abuse, sexual assault, exploitation through prostitution and domestic violence. She has published in numerous journals such as the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma and the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Alexis Kennedy won two American Psychological Association Awards (Divisions 37 and 41) and a Canadian Psychological Association Laureate for her doctoral dissertation on cross-cultural perceptions of child abuse. She has testified in court, spoken nationally and internationally, and is frequently quoted in the media on issues of exploitation and abuse.

Kennedy received a $623,600 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 to study human trafficking and resiliency in young survivors. A fellow of the Center for Crime and Justice Policy, she completed a federally funded evaluation of a re-entry program for offenders.

Kennedy has facilitated and conducted research for a number of Clark County task forces including initiatives on human trafficking, juvenile delinquency, child abuse and sex offender management. She conducts research for specialty courts, child protective services and non-profit service agencies in Las Vegas.

Dr. Kennedy also serves as an active mentor and board member for national and local non-profits. She is a frequent trainer on child abuse human trafficking, compassion fatigue, speaking to criminal justice, mental health, medical, and community-based organizations.


  • Ph.D., Forensic Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • M.A., Forensic Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • J.D., University of Manitoba
  • B.A., Criminology, University of Toronto

M. Alexis Kennedy In The News

August 28, 2019
A blind UNLV student has a unique perspective ahead of the new school year.
June 2, 2016
Martin, a former sex buyer, admits he’s never been faithful in any relationship. So when the urge to cheat struck again after he got married and had kids, he thought the logical thing to do would be to pay for sex.
May 31, 2016
About 72 percent of the juvenile victims of human trafficking in Nevada come from within the state, experts said Wednesday.
May 26, 2016
About 72 percent of the juvenile victims of human trafficking in Nevada come from within the state, experts said Wednesday.

Articles Featuring M. Alexis Kennedy

boy holding hand up in stop sign
Research | September 21, 2018

When toxic masculinity is part of a culture, male survivors of childhood abuse may turn to crime as a way to reclaim their masculinity.

two women standing next to empty road
Research | September 20, 2018

Researchers work with underage sex trafficking victims to identify new ways to assist exploited children and prevent others from entering the abuse cycle.