Resource Library

Resource Library

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626 resources.

The Use of Truth-Telling Devices in Sexual Assault Investigations

Articles or Reports | January 1, 2009
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This guide examines the use of polygraph tests and other truth-telling devices (sometimes called “lie-detector tests”) in sexual assault investigations. It is meant to support the Violence Against Women Act and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) provision that truth-telling devices must not be used with sexual assault victims as a condition of charging or prosecution of an offense. This guide examines special issues relevant to using truth-telling devices with sexual assault victims. Legislative and judicial actions that have been taken as a result of this debate will also be discussed. Victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and policy makers may use this guide to develop policies, practices, and procedures and to improve collaborations regarding the use of truth-telling devices as the VAWA 2005 provision is adopted across the United States.

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The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

Tools & Templates
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The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT) was developed on the premise that exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people – known as vicarious trauma – is an inevitable occupational challenge for the fields of victim services, emergency medical services, fire services, law enforcement, and other allied professionals. However, organizations can mitigate the potentially negative effects of trauma exposure by becoming vicarious trauma-informed. The VTT includes tools and resources tailored specifically to these fields that provide the knowledge and skills necessary for organizations to address the vicarious trauma needs of their staff.

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Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

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Provides training, technical assistance, web-based education programs, a directory of national trainers and experts, and a clearinghouse of all research related to domestic violence and sexual assault strangulation crimes.

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Trans-Specific ACES: How Culture, Experiences, and Trauma Influence Health Disparities

Webinars | April 13, 2022
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Many professionals are familiar with ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences – and how they influence the health and wellness of both youth and adults. This webinar explores and compares ACEs data in the general population with rates that many trans/nonbinary people experience. Additional information will examine trans-specific ACEs that layer on extra challenges in childhood that have long-lasting impact throughout the lifespan. Concrete suggestions are given for how each of us can intervene and change the trajectory of health disparities for trans youth and adults.

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Trans/Non-Binary Individuals and Intimate Partner Violence: A Brief Overview

Webinars
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This webinar examines statistics related to violence experienced by trans people, and reviews specific events that shape and impact trans communities and trans survivors. A discussion of trans-specific intimate partner violence (IPV) tactics is briefly reviewed, followed by a discussion of barriers to accessing care for trans IPV survivors. This brief resource ends with practical strategies to better support trans survivors, and a list of resources to get more information.

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Trauma and the Brain: Understanding Abuse Survivors’ Responses

Videos | September 29, 2015
Author: Other

This animation is for any professional working with a service user when gender-based violence is a feature in the case. It is designed to help service users who have experienced gender-based violence, and to help more professionals to understand the effects of abuse.

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Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Training

Web Links
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These resources provide law enforcement and multidisciplinary community partners with information on the neurobiology of trauma and investigative strategies to respond to sexual assault crimes in a victim centered, trauma informed manner.

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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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Truth-Detection Devices and Victims of Sexual Violence: A Shortcut to Injustice

Articles or Reports | April 1, 2019
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This article provides a brief overview on the history and modern forms of truth-detection devices and discusses how the earliest concerns about their reliability and limitations continue to be valid today. It discusses why truth-detection devices are inappropriate and how, in many jurisdictions, they are prohibited from being used when interviewing victims of sexual violence. Despite the reliability concerns, truth-detection devices remain a potentially useful tool during questioning of suspects.

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Truth, Lies and Sex Offenders & Sadistic vs. Non-Sadistic Sex Offenders (DVD)

Videos
Author: Other

This DVD has both of Dr. Anna Salter’s videos in a format that will work on DVD players worldwide. It contains “Truth, Lies and Sex Offenders” as well as “Sadistic vs. non-Sadistic Sex Offenders” and a study guide for each.

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U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide

Tools & Templates | November 1, 2015
Author: Other

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created this Resource Guide to inform and address concerns about the role of law enforcement agencies within these visa programs. This Guide includes information about U and T visa requirements; the I-918B certification and I-914B declaration processes; best practices; answers to important and frequently asked questions from judges, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, and other officials; where to look for more resources; and contact information for DHS personnel on U and T visa issues.

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U Visa Toolkit For Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecutors

Tools & Templates | October 1, 2018
Author: Other

By providing U-visa certifications, law enforcement officials add to their arsenal of crime fighting tools because victims feel safer coming forward to report crimes. This document provides the following background information on the U-visa: an overview of the U-visa and a section on law enforcement officials and the U-visa certification. The section on law enforcement officials includes who qualifies for a U-visa, which criminal activities are covered by the U-visa, the application process, and other information that will assist law enforcement in their role as certifiers.

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Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study

Articles or Reports | May 1, 2011
Author: Other

The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive studies to quantify the extent of elder abuse in a discrete jurisdiction ever attempted, and certainly the largest in any single American state. With funding from the New York State William B. Hoyt Memorial Children and Family Trust Fund, a program administered under NYS Office of Children and Family Services, three community, governmental, and academic partners (Lifespan of Greater Rochester, the New York City Department for the Aging and the Weill Cornell Medical College) formed a collaborative partnership to conduct the study.

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Understanding Rape in Prison

Articles or Reports | January 1, 2014
Author: Other

This information packet is designed for sexual violence advocates to learn more about working with prisons. In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed, and the PREA standards for corrections were introduced in May 2012. This packet will help advocates prepare to work with prisons as they implement PREA standards.

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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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Unfounded Sexual Assaults: Recommended Processes for Investigations and Clearance Reporting

Articles or Reports
Author: Other

This National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) brief focuses on false reports of sexual assault and provides two recommendations – one about conducting thorough investigations for all sexual assault cases, including those that may later be cleared as unfounded, and one about using accurate and consistent clearance designations.

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Uniform Crime Report (FBI)

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The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program generates reliable statistics for use in law enforcement. It also provides information for students of criminal justice, researchers, the media, and the public. The program has been providing crime statistics since 1930. The UCR Program includes data from more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Agencies participate voluntarily and submit their crime data either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI’s UCR Program.

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Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits in Houston, TX: Case Characteristics, Forensic Testing Results, and the Investigation of CODIS Hits

Articles or Reports | April 1, 2016
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In 2011, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded the Houston Police Department to form a multidisciplinary team to study the problem of sexual assault kits (SAK) that were collected but never submitted to a crime lab for screening and testing. The Houston Action-Research Project sought to understand the factors that produced the volume of unsubmitted SAKs, the way forensic evidence is used during criminal investigations and prosecutions of sexual assaults, and what stakeholders should expect when large numbers of previously unsubmitted SAKs get tested. This is one of a number of reports and presentations that will be released to help other jurisdictions learn from our experiences as they seek to better understand and improve their own practices.

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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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VAWA 2005 and Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams: Kit Storage Issues

Articles or Reports | May 1, 2014
Author: Other

This research brief is one of four included in a larger study by the Urban Institute entitled Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams and VAWA 2005: Payment Practices, Successes, and Directions for the Future, which examined how states are meeting the goals of VAWA provisions regarding medical forensic examinations. This brief focuses on questions regarding storage of the sexual assault evidence kits collected during a medical forensic examination.

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VAWA 2005 and Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams: Policy Implementation and Impacts

Articles or Reports | May 1, 2014
Author: Other

This research brief is one of four included in a larger study by the Urban Institute entitled Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams and VAWA 2005: Payment Practices, Successes, and Directions for the Future, which examined how states are meeting the goals of VAWA provisions regarding medical forensic examinations. This brief focuses on questions of policy implementation and impacts.

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

Training Bulletins | February 1, 2016
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This training bulletin briefly reviews the forensic compliance provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), with specific emphasis on issues raised in the 2013 reauthorization (VAWA 2013). States and territories were required to certify compliance with VAWA 2013 by March 2016.

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VAWnet

Web Links
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Victim Impact Statements

Web Links
Author: Other

Victim impact statements are unique, and people have various ways of expressing how crime has affected them. This webpage provides information to assist survivors in writing their own victim impact statement.

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Victim Law

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VictimLaw is a searchable database of victims’ rights legal provisions including federal, state, and territorial statutes, Tribal laws, state constitutional amendments, court rules, administrative code provisions, and summaries of related court decisions and attorney general opinions.

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Victim Law Position Paper: Crime Victims Have the Right to Retained Counsel’s Presence During Investigative Interviews

Articles or Reports | August 1, 2014
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In this position paper, the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) outlines the basis for their argument that crime victims have the right to retained counsel’s presence during investigative interview. This argument is based on the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) as well as other constitutional and rule-based rights which make crime victims independent participants, rather than mere witnesses, in the criminal justice system.

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Victim Responses to Sexual Assault: Counterintuitive or Simply Adaptive?

Articles or Reports | January 1, 2007
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This monograph explores different psychological (e.g., depression, anger, or anxiety) and behavioral responses (e.g., not fighting back during a rape, continuing to date an assailant, or not reporting the sexual assault until months later) to sexual violence and why these responses appear to be “counterintuitive” to the general public. The term “counterintuitive” is used to explain how a juror may perceive a victim’s behavior and not the behavior itself. For local and state prosecutors involved in sexual assault cases, it is important to remember that labeling these certain victim behaviors for members of a jury as “counterintuitive” reinforces the notion that there is an appropriate or “normal” way to behave after a sexual assault and that anything outside the realm of a pre-supposed reaction is somehow inappropriate or abnormal.

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Victim Rights Law Center

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Provides civil legal representation to victims of sexual violence, training for attorneys, and advocates nationally and technical assistance.

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Victims and Witnesses with Developmental Disabilities and the Prosecution of Sexual Assault

Articles or Reports
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This article will provide a brief overview of developmental disabilities and the diagnostic criteria for mental retardation, and will then offer practical tips for prosecutors in cases where the victim in a sexual assault case has a diagnosis of mental retardation.

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