Use of Alternate Light Source/Negative Invert Filters to Improve Visibility of Injuries Under the Skin
Strangulation is a common form of intentionally inflicted injury on victims of interpersonal violence. Unfortunately, this type of injury has often been overlooked by both medical providers and law enforcement professionals. This is due to the fact that most injuries incurred from strangulation are not visible to the naked eye. While external signs and symptoms of strangulation and other injuries may be difficult to detect with the naked eye, new technologies are available to assist in visualizing these underlying physical injuries. These new technologies include alternate light sources (ALS), digital software filters, and the use of digital photodocumentation to capture images visible with the assistance of ALS.
Sexual assault victims can obtain a medical forensic exam without being faced with an immediate decision about participating in the law enforcement investigation and any criminal prosecution. The goal is to get victims the health care they need – as well as collecting and documenting evidence while it is available – without presenting victims with a decision about criminal participation that is framed as “all or nothing” and “now or never.” If victims are allowed to get support and take the time they need, the hope is that they will ultimately “convert” and decide they are able to fully participate in the process.
At EVAWI, we know the single most important factor in determining the success of the victim interview is the attitude of respect and professionalism conveyed by the law enforcement professional. Therefore, it is critical for law enforcement to establish rapport and respectful communication in order to conduct an effective interview. This webinar will provide guidance on how to conduct a competent and compassionate interview, while being mindful of the varying ways the victim may present.
Professionals across the country are struggling to implement a community response system that is compliant with the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. § 3796gg-4(d) (typically referred to as “VAWA 2005”). With resources provided by a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), we can help to achieve this goal in your community.