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1028 resources.

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

Training Bulletins | May 1, 2019
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In this article, we focus on the scenario 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 such as obstruction of justice, interfering with law enforcement, or providing false statements. Some have even been charged with a felony crime of evidence tampering, for obtaining a medical forensic examination. In other words, the evidence they are accused of tampering with is their very own body.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Recording Victim Interviews

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2012
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While preparing for an interview with a sexual assault victim, one of the critical decisions to make is whether or not to tape it (either audio or video). This can be a controversial issue in some communities (although this is becoming less true), and both police and prosecutors must weigh the advantages and disadvantages before implementing any policy. However, it is worth noting that interviews with child victims have been taped for years, and law enforcement professionals and others typically recognize the important advantages of this practice. Many of the same advantages exist for adult and adolescent victims. (Originally distributed 12/2012)

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Responding to Victims Reporting from Another Jurisdiction

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2013
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Tragically, many victims are assaulted while they are away from home. This could include a sexual assault, an attack by an intimate partner, or any other crime. What can become complicated for law enforcement is the fact that many of these victims will wait to report the crime until they return home. This makes sense, because they have the support of family and friends at home, as well as other service providers they may feel more comfortable contacting. However, it means that the law enforcement agency receiving the report is not the one with jurisdiction. We developed this training bulletin to provide guidance in this area – not only for law enforcement professionals – but also to inform other community professionals about the options that are available for the law enforcement response in this type of situation. (Originally distributed 9/2013)

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault: Understanding the Distinctions and Intersections

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2018
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In the #MeToo and #TimesUp era of accountability, victims who have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted in the past have been empowered to come forward and reveal their victimization. Yet there is confusion on the part of the public, and even within law enforcement, about how to differentiate between sexual harassment and sexual assault. This uncertainty is complicated by the fact that in some cases, the offending behavior can fall into both camps, prompting the question as to whether to proceed civilly, criminally, or both.

In this Training Bulletin, we provide a brief summary of the distinctions and intersections between sexual harassment and sexual assault. We then provide some detailed information on each topic, but primarily refer interested readers to other resources. For example, EVAWI offers thousands of pages of training material on criminal sexual assault, particularly related to the law enforcement response and investigation. Other resources are available for detailed information on sexual harassment and responses in educational or employment settings.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Sexual Violence on Campus: Reporting and Collaborative Response

Training Bulletins | July 1, 2015
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This Q&A document explains what schools must do, describes appropriate prevention efforts, explains how Title IX relates to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Clery Act with regard to keeping a complainant informed, and gives examples of how schools and the Office for Civil Rights can respond to sexual violence. It also tells which school employees are required to report possible sexual violence to school officials, and describes the process for addressing the confidentiality issues involved when a student does not want to be identified or does not want an investigation to move forward. The document describes what a school should do if there is also an ongoing criminal investigation – the school is obliged to proceed with its own investigation, although it may have to delay fact-finding while law enforcement gathers evidence. However, the school should still take action to protect the complainant while this is going on, and should not wait for the criminal case to conclude prior to making its own findings.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Should Sexual Assault Victims Be Interviewed by Female Detectives?

Training Bulletins | February 1, 2015
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We are frequently asked whether law enforcement agencies should have a policy of assigning female detectives to interview sexual assault victims, whenever possible. This question is certainly a legitimate one, because the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by men, and some people believe that the presence of a male officer (especially one that is uniformed and armed) may be upsetting for some victims.

In this training bulletin, we explore some of the issues related to sexual assault and officer gender. We then conclude with some additional resources to assist in this area.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Should We Test “Anonymous Kits?”

Training Bulletins | October 1, 2013
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We are frequently asked whether communities should be “testing anonymous kits,” and this training bulletin is dedicated to answering this question. However, before we can do that, we need to take the question apart and examine several problems with the way it is framed. we first explore problems with the terminology and concepts surrounding both “anonymous” and “testing kits.” (Originally distributed 10/2013)

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Start by Believing to Improve Responses to Sexual Assault and Prevent Gender Bias

Training Bulletins | August 1, 2017
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Prosecution expert Herb Tanner delves into the challenges that have been raised with the philosophy of Start by Believing (SBB), and other victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches. In particular, he addresses one specific manner of attack: Defense cross-examination aimed at exposing the law enforcement investigation of a sexual assault as biased.

In his discussion, Mr. Tanner draws specific examples from a mock trial demonstration conducted at our 2017 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Systems Change. He explains how to respond to this type of cross-examination, “rehabilitate” a witness, and turn the defense’s own cross-examination to the prosecutor’s advantage, by describing how SBB works to reduce gender bias in the law enforcement investigation of sexual assault.

Yet, there is also a broader point to keep in mind: Any attack on SBB is really an argument against the larger principle of victim-centered and trauma-informed practices. It is a condemnation of our efforts to prevent gender bias, by changing our response from one that is grounded in stereotypical assumptions and judgments about survivors, to one that is based on the neuroscience of trauma, and the realistic dynamics of sexual assault. Moreover, the arguments marshalled here, for responding to cross-examination, can be as powerful and persuasive outside the courtroom, as in it.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Start by Believing: Participation of Criminal Justice Professionals

Training Bulletins | September 1, 2016
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While the Start by Believing campaign has now been adopted by hundreds of communities, across the country and around the world, questions have been raised regarding its appropriateness for criminal justice agencies. Some have questioned whether participation in the campaign might compromise the ability of police and prosecutors to remain objective, potentially opening them up to attacks by defense counsel and/or losing cases at trial.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Suggested Guidelines on Language Use for Sexual Assault

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2013
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We all know that words matter, and this can be especially true when we are talking about sexual assault. In this training bulletin, we are sending out a document that was originally developed to provide guidance on language use for the authors and editors of Sexual Assault Report1, a publication that we co–edited for five years. (We are currently in the process of editing our last issue and passing the torch of leadership to others.)

Because this document is likely to be helpful to just about anyone working in this field, we have adapted it for this purpose. We believe these recommendations for language use can improve our verbal and written communications as professionals in the field, helping us to provide information in ways that maximize our accuracy and clarity – and to avoid common tendencies that can create confusion, perpetuate misinformation, and contribute to a climate of doubt and victim blame.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Sworn Statements

Training Bulletins | December 1, 2012
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One of many questions addressed in our new Frequently Asked Questions section of the website is the following: Do I need to get a sworn statement from the victim at the conclusion of the interview? This question is asked from the perspective of a law enforcement investigator. We would like to take the opportunity to address this question in this Training Bulletin. (Originally distributed 12/2012)

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: 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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When one thinks about the many dramatic moments in trial, the direct examination of the investigating officer (IO) is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. Little can match the emotional impact of a victim recounting the experience of a sexual assault on direct examination, and the cross-examination challenge to it.

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

Training Bulletins
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This training bulletin was written to explore 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. Various possibilities are illustrated with hypothetical courtroom exchanges. We hope this is helpful for investigators and prosecutors seeking to understand this field of knowledge and appropriately utilize these techniques. But first, some basics.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma and Implications for Interviewing Victims

Training Bulletins | November 1, 2016
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More than a year in development, this 38-page document 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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EVAWI Training Bulletin: Utilizing Contrast Photography and Invert Filters

Training Bulletins
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Caution: Some of the photographs included in this bulletin are graphic in nature.

EVAWI is proud to partner with SDFI®-TeleMedicine for our 2015 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Campus Responses. By partnering with EVAWI, SDFI is publicly and proactively committing to join our efforts to end violence against women – a powerful and compassionate statement. We hope this training bulletin provides forensic examiners, investigators and prosecutors with helpful information that can be used to improve forensic documentation.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: VAWA 2013 Requirements for Medical Forensic Exams: No Out-of-Pocket Costs and Public Notification

Training Bulletins | February 1, 2016
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The 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) included many new provisions, but two focused specifically on the topic of forensic compliance. One clarified that victims cannot be required to pay any out-of-pocket costs to obtain a medical forensic exam. The second requires public outreach to ensure that community members know sexual assault victims can obtain a medical forensic exam free of charge and regardless of whether or not they participate in the criminal justice process.

The deadline for compliance with these two new provisions is March 7th, 2016.

In this bulletin, we offer more detailed information as well as resources you can use to ensure that your community is in compliance with these two new VAWA provisions.

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EVAWI Training Bulletin: When to Conduct an Exam or Interview

Training Bulletins | June 1, 2013
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Often questions about timing center around the victim’s need for sleep following the sexual assault and preliminary investigation. In general, we believe that our communities could go a long way toward improving our response to sexual assault if we simply operated from the premise that we want victims to be involved in our response systems, so we should do whatever we reasonably can to help them do so. Sometimes we get so focused on our own policies and procedures that we forget to make accommodations that would encourage victims to participate, even if they entail some compromises that are less than ideal. (Originally distributed 6/2013)

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EVAWI Training Material: The Role of DNA in a Sexual Assault Investigation

Other | April 21, 2015
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This PowerPoint presentation was given by Joanne Archambault and Kim Lonsway at EVAWI’s 2012 annual conference in San Diego. The presentation explains the nature of the “DNA backlog” and explores the role of DNA in a sexual assault investigation. Topics include the primary sources and purposes of DNA evidence, the three-tier structure of CODIS (on the local, state, and national level), and the historical background as well as the future promise – and challenge – of DNA technologies within this particular context.

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EVAWI Training Module: Clearance Methods for Sexual Assault Cases

Training Modules | July 1, 2007
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