How Can We Improve the Criminal Justice System Response for Transgender Victims?

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 8, 2021

Annette Milleville, JD
Deputy Supervisor, Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Division, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
Krista Peterson, JD
Trial Specialist, Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Division, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
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Lisa Gilmore, LCPC, MEd
Principal & Founder, Illinois Accountability Initiative

When transgender victims are assaulted or abused, whether by domestic violence or sexual assault, what are the institutional barriers, systemic prejudices, and interpersonal fears which prevent transgender victims from seeking help through medical facilities, law enforcement, and prosecution? The impact of systemic barriers encountered by transgender victims will be explored and discussed in order to increase knowledge and understanding of the issues and complexities faced by transgender victims when engaging with the criminal justice system.

This interactive workshop will analyze intrinsic and extrinsic barriers within the criminal justice system which hinder the reporting of sexual and domestic abuse by transgender victims. The presenters will share their insight on identifying these barriers as they exist in everyday processes and providing practical solutions for the removal of obstacles while providing ideas and suggestions for advocating and supporting transgender victims. Some topics to be covered include which line does the transgender victim enter at the courthouse, male or female; the use of pronouns, and housing safety issues.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify and understand institutional and systemic barriers to reporting sexual assault and domestic violence by victims who are transgender.
  • Recognize the Importance of adopting personal awareness and intuitional sensitivity to issues faced by transgender victims of sexual and domestic assault.
  • Recognize the myriad of barriers that exist within one’s own agency which may discourage reporting by transgender victims.
  • Establish improved responses and processes for transgender victims within the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate, through case studies, successful strategies of investigation, and prosecution.


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