Opening Doors: Alternative Reporting Options for Sexual Assault Victims

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
December 8, 2021

Sergeant Joanne Archambault (Ret.)
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, EVAWI
Kim Lonsway
Kimberly A. Lonsway, Ph.D.
Director of Research, EVAWI

This presentation explores strategies to increase reporting options for sexual assault victims. These approaches are grounded in a victim-centered and trauma-informed philosophy, encapsulated in the concepts of one step at a time and opening doors.

One Step at a Time: How can professionals support a gradual process of disclosure and reporting (rather than “all or nothing,” and “now or never”)?

Opening Doors: How can professionals increase the number of options available for victims to report their sexual assault and access services?

After outlining key concepts and defining basic terminology, the presentation examines specific policy and practice considerations for communities seeking to implement alternative reporting options. Ultimately, victims who have more ways to access information and support, to receive physical and psychological care, and to preserve the viability of a criminal justice intervention, will have more opportunities to successfully participate in the criminal justice process if and when they choose to. Participants will leave this session prepared to advance a one step at a time and opening doors approach, by developing a comprehensive multidisciplinary protocol for their own communities.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key barriers to reporting for victims of sexual assault.
  • Define anonymous, non-investigative, and third-party reporting as alternative strategies to overcome these barriers and increase reporting options.
  • Explain the relevance of VAWA forensic compliance to alternative reporting options.
  • Identify key conceptual, legal/policy, and practical issues that need to be addressed in a multidisciplinary protocol for alternative reporting options.
  • Apply the conceptual aims of one step at a time and opening doors to design a community protocol that increases reporting options for sexual assault victims.
  • Apply the two main conceptual aims of alternative reporting options as a means of analyzing components in a specific policy or protocol.


EVAWI is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide Continuing Education contact hours for nurses (Provider #15641).

Registered Nurses may purchase 1.5 contact hours after completing this webinar.

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