Katherine Kafonek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Office Phone Email
S2-135 559.278.2814 kafonek@csufresno.edu


Biographical Sketch


Dr. Katherine (Kate) Kafonek is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at California State University, Fresno. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology at the University of Delaware, where she taught Introduction to Criminal Justice. Prior to starting at Fresno State, Dr. Kafonek was a lead research assistant at the Center for the Study & Prevention of Gender-Based Violence at the University of Delaware. She also received her M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore and B.S. in Crime, Law, and Justice from Pennsylvania State University.


Dr. Kafonek’s research interests lie at the intersection of gender, crime, and victimization. Her recent research specifically examines the role of escalation in intimate partner homicide, sexual assault education and prevention at the K-12 and college levels, and intimate partner violence help-seeking and resilience.




Ph.D., Criminology, University of Delaware, Newark DE

M.S., Criminal Justice, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

B.S., Law, Crime, & Justice, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


Recent Publications


Richards, T. N., Holland, K., Kafonek, K., & Navarro, J. (2021). Sex-Based Harassment in the United States’ K-12 Schools: Rates and Predictors of Allegations, Student Reporting, and Student Discipline. Journal of School Violence. 


Miller, S. L., Iovanni, L., & Kafonek, K. (2020). Agency and paternalism: Balancing acts between a domestic violence survivors’ task force and a state coalition. Violence Against Women. 


Brewer-Smyth, K., Kafonek, K., and Koenig, H. G. (2020). A Pilot Study on Sleep Quality, Forgiveness, Religion, Spirituality and General Health of Women Living in a Homeless Mission. Holistic Nursing Practice, 34(1), 49-56. 


Richards, T.N., Gillespie, L. K., Kafonek, K., & Johnson, M. (2019). An examination of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP): Perspectives on implementation, helpseeking, and victim empowerment. Violence Against Women, 26(12-13), 1517-1537. 

Richards T.N., Branch, K.A., Fleury-Steiner, R., & Kafonek, K. (2017). A feminist analysis of campus sexual assault policies: Results from a national sample. Family Relations, 66(1), 104-115. 

*Top 10 downloaded papers in Family Relations in 2017 (1167 downloads in 12-months post publication) 


Manuscripts in Progress


Kafonek, K., Gray, A., & Parker, K. (Under review). “Understanding escalation through intimate partner violence narratives.”


Gray, A., Kafonek, K., & Parker, K. F. (In process).  “Intersections and intimate partner homicides: A macro-level analysis of firearm and intimate partner violence-related policies.”