The work began in 1983 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada with the establishment of the Service for Sexual Assault Victims by Professor Renner's community psychology class at Dalhousie University. The focus shifted to the legal aspects of sexual assault in 1993 when he become a Research Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Over this period of time, he and his graduate students made numerous scholarly contributions to the field. In September of 1998 they launched an effort in Canada to press for reforms in the criminal justice process. When Professor Renner retired to the United States, his efforts have been directed on developing a social action program in both countries to simultaneously press for reforms in the legal process. He continues to hold an Adjunct Research Professorship at Carleton University in Canada, as well as a similar academic appointment at the University of South Florida.
Development in the United States
In June of 2002, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) awarded Dr. Renner a Sage Grant to establish a US web site for the National Action Plans Against Sexual Assault (NAPASA) based on the applied materials developed through the basic research program conducted in Canada.
In October of 2004, Carleton University in Canada and EVAW International in the United States were awarded a simultaneous grants by the Canadian Donner Foundation and by the W. H. Donner Foundation of New York to train eight participant-communities in each country in the NAPASA strategy to more effectively prosecute sex offenders. The two national "Make a Difference" conferences will be held on October 12-15, 2004 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and on October 26-29, 2004 in San Diego, California. For more information go to the "Making a Difference" section of this website.