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32 resources.

Advocates and Law Enforcement: Oil and Water?

Training Bulletins | March 1, 2017
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This training bulletin series begins with a historical perspective and explores the role of victim advocates within the context of the criminal justice system. It then describes why some professionals are reluctant to integrate victim advocacy in their work and identifies strategies for overcoming that reluctance. The series concludes with an example of how advocates might address one particular challenge: When the law enforcement investigator feels like the facts “don’t add up.”

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Becoming Trauma-Informed: Learning and Appropriately Applying the Neurobiology of Trauma to Victim Interviews

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2019
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This training bulletin provides basic information about the brain and explores the impact of trauma on behavior and memory. This information is designed to help agencies make improvements in their interviewing practices with victims of sexual assault, as well as victims and witnesses of other types of violence. Many of these same principles also apply to other types of investigative interviews, such as those conducted by prosecutors, civil attorneys, campus Title IX investigators, and others.

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Clearance Methods for Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Best Practice

Training Bulletins | July 1, 2013
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This training bulletin summarizes the best practice recommendations offered in the 8-hour Online Training Institute (OLTI) course entitled: Clearance Methods for Sexual Assault Cases. The OLTI module provides information for police officers, investigators, and supervisors on how to clear or otherwise close sexual assault cases. These case determinations can be complicated, yet many law enforcement personnel are provided little or no guidance in how to make them appropriately.

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Crime Victims’ Rights

Training Bulletins | April 1, 2015
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EVAWI offers a 3-part series of training bulletins on Crime Victims’ Rights, providing a basic introduction to the topic and outlining the requirements for informing victims about their rights, the process for asserting those rights, and procedures to follow when victims feel their rights have been violated during a criminal or civil proceeding.

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Forensic Exams for the Sexual Assault Suspect

Training Bulletins | October 1, 2013
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This training bulletin addresses this critically important source of evidence in a sexual assault investigation. Many law enforcement agencies have failed to establish policies and procedures for obtaining comprehensive forensic examinations of sexual assault suspects, despite the potential for recovering probative evidence from the suspect’s body and clothing.

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Gender Bias in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation

Training Bulletins | November 1, 2017
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EVAWI offers a 4-part training bulletin series on Gender Bias in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation. It explores the phenomenon of gender bias, both explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious), and the resulting stereotypes and attitudes that can influence the professional response to, and investigation of, sexual assault. For example, discussion addresses the intersection of gender bias and victim selection at the time of the sexual assault, victim blaming after the assault, victim recantations, and the designation of false reports. Finally, the series concludes with recommendations for reducing the effect of gender bias in these cases.

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How to Provide Expert Training for Law Enforcement in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2019
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EVAWI offers a training bulletin on how to provide a successful training for law enforcement on the topic of sexual assault response and investigation. Detailed guidance is provided, along with suggestions for identifying expert trainers in the field.

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Important Things to Get Right About the “Neurobiology of Trauma”

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2020
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The 3-part training bulletin series explores central concepts in the “neurobiology of trauma,” as it is understood by people working with sexual assault victims. Understanding essential scientific findings and avoiding any misinterpretation or misapplication can help professionals work more effectively with survivors.

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Impression Management for Investigating Officers

Training Bulletins | March 1, 2018
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Investigating officers are one of the most important witnesses in a sexual assault trial. Impression management can make or break the way an investigator is perceived by the jury, which will determine the weight they will assign to their testimony. By proactively strategizing both content and context, investigators and prosecutors can present the evidence in a sexual assault case in a fashion that is straightforward, easy to follow, and effective.

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Improving Responses to Sexual Assault Disclosures: Both Informal and Formal Support Providers

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2019
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This training bulletin reviews the research on sexual assault disclosures and the responses survivors receive, then examines public awareness campaigns to prevent sexual assault and improve responses, including Start by Believing.

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Interviews with Victims vs. Suspects: Start by Believing and the Question of Bias

Training Bulletins | October 1, 2018
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This training bulletin examines the Start by Believing philosophy and its implications for victim and suspect interviews. The purpose is to explain what this philosophy does – and does not – say about how to approach sexual assault investigations.

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Investigating Sexual Assault Against People with Disabilities: How to Develop an Investigative Strategy

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2015
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In this training bulletin, we offer an introduction to this topic by explaining how to develop an investigative strategy in a sexual assault case where the victim has a disability. We begin by describing the legal elements that must be met in various types of sexual assault cases, regardless of whether or not the victim has a disability. For a more comprehensive discussion of this topic, please see our 20-hour Online Training Institute (OLTI) course entitled: Successfully Investigating Sexual Assault Against Victims with Disabilities.

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Model Policy Resource: Law Enforcement Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Accountability

Training Bulletins | February 1, 2020
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This document was created to help law enforcement agencies work collaboratively with agency personnel, community partners, and legal counsel to develop their own agency-specific policy to address sexual misconduct committed by sworn and civilian personnel. It is provided in an accessible format that can be easily adapted by law enforcement agencies to create a new policy or build on an existing policy.

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Notification of Advocates and HIPAA Protections

Training Bulletins | January 1, 2013
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This 2-part series examines the question of whether routine notification of advocates violates the privacy protections outlined in HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). In short, the answer is no: routine notification of victim advocates does not violate HIPAA, but there are issues worth considering.

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Raped, Then Jailed: Risks of Prosecution for Falsely Reporting Sexual Assault

Training Bulletins | May 1, 2019
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This training bulletin describes scenarios where victims summon the courage to report a sexual assault, only to be disbelieved, mistreated, and later charged (often erroneously) with false reporting or associated crimes. Some have even been charged with a felony crime of evidence tampering, for obtaining a medical forensic examination. Discussion focuses on how these scenarios unfold, highlighting factors that distinguish an interview conducted with a victim vs. a suspect in a criminal investigation, and documents how this can result in a coerced recantation or false confession. The conclusion addresses how these injustices can be prevented.

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Recording Victim Interviews

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2012
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This training bulletin explores the critical decision of whether law enforcement investigators should record their victim interviews (either audio or video). This can be a controversial issue in some communities, so advantages and disadvantages are explored, to inform policy implementation.

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Responding to Victims Reporting from Another Jurisdiction

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2013
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This training bulletin provides guidance for courtesy reports taken by law enforcement to document a sexual assault committed in another jurisdiction. While it is written primarily for law enforcement, the information it is also valuable for other responding professionals to be informed about the options that are available.

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Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault: Understanding the Distinctions and Intersections

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2018
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Civil sexual harassment and criminal sexual assault differ in many ways, including the standards of proof, consequences for individual and organizational defendants, and relief for victims, among other factors. While these issues are complex, this training bulletin provides a concise summary to clarify key concepts and distinctions.

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Sexual Violence on Campus: Reporting and Collaborative Response

Training Bulletins | July 1, 2015
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This training bulletin offers a very brief summary of the issues, primarily serving as a guide to other relevant resources.

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Should Sexual Assault Victims Be Interviewed by Female Detectives?

Training Bulletins | February 1, 2015
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Some law enforcement agencies have assigned female officers to sex crimes cases, assuming that victims will feel more secure and that women officers will “naturally” or intuitively respond better to these cases. But a better approach is to invest in quality training for all officers regardless of gender, and to set high expectations for anyone who interviews sexual assault victims.

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Should We Test “Anonymous Kits?”

Training Bulletins | October 1, 2013
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This training bulletin addresses the question of whether or not evidence collected in association with a non-investigative report should be submitted to the laboratory for analysis. In short, the answer is “no.” The bulletin goes on to explain the rationale for this answer.

 

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Start by Believing to Improve Responses to Sexual Assault and Prevent Gender Bias

Training Bulletins | August 1, 2017
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This training bulletin examines questions that have been asked about the philosophy of Start by Believing, and other victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches. Criminal justice professionals are then prepared to respond to any defense cross-examination by explaining how a law enforcement investigation of sexual assault can remain unbiased.

 

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Start by Believing: Participation of Criminal Justice Professionals

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2016
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This training bulletin debunks the notion that criminal justice professionals’ participation in Start by Believing compromises their ability to remain objective. While questions of bias are sometimes raised, this training bulletin offers arguments that can be used to explain the purpose of the campaign and defend the rationale for criminal justice participation.

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Suggested Guidelines on Language Use for Sexual Assault

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2013
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This training bulletin can help improve both verbal and written communications by professionals in the field of sexual assault response. The goal is to maximize accuracy and clarity – and to avoid common tendencies that can create confusion, perpetuate misinformation, and contribute to a climate of doubt and victim blaming.

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Sworn Statements

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2012
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This training bulletin addresses a question that is commonly asked by law enforcement investigators: Do I need to get a sworn statement from the victim at the conclusion of an interview? This training bulletin concludes that a sworn statement is not needed from victims or witnesses, because there is no clear advantage yet several critical disadvantages.

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The Investigating Officer’s Direct Exam: Strategic and Tactical Considerations to Take Advantage of the IO’s Expertise

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2018
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This training bulletin provides a basic introduction to the role of direct examination with an investigating officer (IO) during a sexual assault trial. Discussion focuses on how to best utilize testimony from the IO, including offering their testimony as an expert witness.

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Trauma-Informed Interviewing and the Criminal Sexual Assault Case: Where Investigative Technique Meets Evidentiary Value

Training Bulletins
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This training bulletin examines what the evidence produced from a trauma-informed interview of a sexual assault victim can (and cannot) accomplish within the US legal system, and how this evidence should (and should not) be used in a sexual assault investigation and prosecution.

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Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma and Implications for Interviewing Victims

Training Bulletins | November 1, 2016
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This training bulletin provides basic information about the brain and explores the impact of trauma on behavior and memory. It then highlights the implications for law enforcement interviews conducted with victims of sexual assault and other traumatic crimes.

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Using Virtual Meeting Software for the Law Enforcement Interview of Victims During COVID-19 and Beyond

Training Bulletins | April 1, 2020
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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, law enforcement officers began using innovative tactics to connect with victims for investigations and to ensure they get the support they need. Although there are some concerns about the privacy and security of virtual meeting platforms, we believe the technology is worth exploring. In this training bulletin, we outline several steps that can be taken to mitigate any risks that might compromise a survivor’s safety and well-being.

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Utilizing Contrast Photography and Invert Filters

Training Bulletins
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This training bulletin, co-authored by EVAWI and SDFI – TeleMedicine, is designed to provide forensic examiners, investigators, and prosecutors with helpful information that can be used to improve forensic documentation. Caution: Some of the photographs included in this bulletin are graphic in nature.

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