October 26, 2020
Stalking crimes are often overlooked when police respond to sexual assault incidents. This can happen because stalking occurs over time and patterns may be dismissed when officers are working quickly through their calls for service, or detectives are urged to investigate and close cases rapidly. Police officers may focus only on the current crime and solving the situation at hand.
Many sex crimes perpetrators show stalking behaviors, but these are easily discounted if officers do not delve deeply into the red flags, dynamics, and specific behaviors to prove the elements of stalking allegations.
In this session, two veteran law enforcement investigators, Cathy Garcia and Carlton Hershman, will cover the recognition and elements of stalking, focusing on ways to obtain evidence (some non-traditional) while investigating these crimes. They will discuss how to use an array of family and civil court documents and proceedings to enhance investigations.
Garcia and Hershman will also examine stalking behaviors and perpetrator personality traits to help participants improve their threat assessment and safety planning when assisting victims of sexual assault. Presenters will use real case examples from across the country.
As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:
- Identify red flags in witness interviews, prompting more thorough investigations
- Describe family court and custody dynamics, which often are a catalyst to stalking behavior
- Recognize triggers in stalking behavior and escalation of violence to assess threats to the victim
- Gather evidence from family, custody, and civil court proceedings
- Use a systematic approach to investigate and present a case of stalking when combined with sexual assault
This project is supported by Grant No. 2018-TA-AX-K032 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.