Burgess, Ann Wolbert

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Burgess, Ann Wolbert


Ann Wolbert Burgess is one of the foremost experts in forensic nursing in the continent of North America. She is a respected author, educator, advanced practice psychiatric nurse, and researcher who has been a pioneer in the rapidly expanding field of forensic nursing. She earned her bachelor's and doctoral degrees in nursing from Boston University, and her master's degree from the University of Maryland. In the mid-1970s, Lynda Lytle Holmstrom and Ann Burgess were the co-founders, at Boston City Hospital, of one of the first hospital-based crisis intervention programs for victims of rape. In 1974, the early results of their research at that program resulted in establishment of the validity of the rape trauma syndrome, which has since gained admissibility in more than 300 appellate court decisions.

Since 1972, Burgess has been actively involved in research on issues of child and adult sexual assault, battering, stalking, identifying markers for elder sexual abuse, and rape. Her forensic and other clinical research interests have expanded through the years to include heart attack victims and return to work, the use of children in pornography, sexual homicide, crime scene patterning, crime scene investigations, the use of children as witnesses in child sexual abuse trials, AIDS, infant kidnapping, and forensic markers in elder sexual abuse. With the FBI , she has studied serial perpetrators of sexual homicide, rape, and child sexual offenses, as well as the possible relationship between child sexual abuse and exploitation, juvenile delinquency, and eventual expression of criminal behavior.

Burgess has written or co-authored numerous textbooks in the fields of psychiatric nursing and crisis intervention. Her works have included books on the assessment and treatment of child, adolescent, and adult survivors of sexual assault, and texts concerning serial offenders: rapists, abductors, child molesters, and murderers. Among her best-known works in this area is the award-winning Crime Classification Manual. She has co-authored nearly 150 articles, book chapters, and monographs on rape victimology, child sex rings, adolescent victims of rape, adolescent runaways, child abductors and molesters, infant abduction, and juvenile prostitution.

Burgess continues to play a pivotal role in the advancement of forensic science through her continuing research, her prolific writings, and her prominence as an expert courtroom witness.

see also Contact crimes; Criminal profiling; Expert witnesses; Forensic nursing; Pattern evidence.