Digital Evidence: Successfully Identifying and Acquiring Electronic Evidence to Combat the CSI Effect
Sex Crimes investigations have changed significantly in recent years. Some of the positive changes we see are a result of a better understanding of the impact of trauma on sexual assault victims and how to incorporate that knowledge into Department policies, procedures and protocols. However, another aspect to improving investigations and prosecutions is educating first responders and investigators about the complexity of these investigations and what steps can be taken to improve case outcomes.
Technology changes extremely quickly and law enforcement faces significant challenges to keep up. With the glamorization of policing in Hollywood, law enforcement is battling to address the CSI effect infiltrating our courtrooms. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 11/18/2016)
Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits: Changing What We Know About Rape
Starting in 2013, the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) Sexual Assault Kit Task Force began investigating and prosecuting cases from approximately 5,000 previously unsubmitted SAKs from 1993 to 2009. In the Fall of 2014, The Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education was approached by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office (CCPO) for the purposes of understanding more about these unsubmitted SAKs. Funded by the CCPO, the researcher team was given access to the SAK case files, and they coded a random sample of 243 sexual assaults case files with completed investigations that either resulted in prosecution or were not pursued due to insufficient evidence.
This webinar will detail key findings from this research study and discuss how these findings are being used to inform and reform how sexual assaults are investigated and prosecuted. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 11/1/2016)
Neurobiology of Sexual Assault 2-Part Webinar Series
Part 1: Experience and Behavior
Traumatic experiences have immediate, automatic and powerful effects on the human brain. This presentation explains how fear and trauma can alter brain functioning during sexual assault, resulting in experiences and behaviors that are, unfortunately, still commonly misunderstood by many who work with victims of sexual assault.
Participants will learn about the key brain circuitries impacted by fear and trauma, including the prefrontal cortex and the fear circuitry. Participants will come to understand brain-based responses to sexual assault, especially those associated with involuntary habits and reflexes. This presentation provides a critical foundation for learning and applying trauma-informed responses with people who have been sexually assaulted. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 9/15/2016)
Part 2: Experience and Memory
Traumatic experiences have immediate, powerful and potentially long-lasting effects on the human brain. This presentation explains how fear and trauma can alter brain functioning during sexual assault, and alter the encoding and storage of memories in ways that are, unfortunately, still commonly misunderstood by many who work with victims of sexual assault.
Participants will learn about the key brain circuitries impacted by fear and trauma, including the prefrontal cortex and the circuitries of fear and episodic memory. Participants will come to understand brain-based aspects of memory encoding, storage and retrieval that determine what can later be recalled and not recalled, including in investigative interviews and in court. This presentation provides a critical foundation for learning and applying trauma-informed responses with people who have been sexually assaulted. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 9/19/2016)
How to Plan a Successful Training for Law Enforcement
We are often asked how to plan a successful training event for law enforcement and other allied professionals. This webinar will help prepare your community for successful training, to improve the law enforcement investigation and community response to gender-based violence. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 6/8/2016)
Alternative Reporting Options for Sexual Assault: An Overview of the You Have Options Program
Led by law enforcement professionals working in partnership with victim advocates and experts in the field of sexual assault response and prevention, the aim of the You Have Options Program (YHOP) is to make the law enforcement response to sexual assault more effective. Specifically, YHOP focuses on changing two fundamental elements in the law enforcement response to sexual violence: Increasing the number of victims who report to law enforcement, and thoroughly investigating identified offenders for serial perpetration.
During this webinar, discussion will focus on the "Twenty Elements" of the YHOP program, and the implementation process for participating law enforcement agencies. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 4/27/2016)
Opening Doors: Alternative Reporting Options for Law Enforcement and VAWA Forensic Compliance
In this webinar, we will explore a number of community models that have been implemented to improve victims' access to the criminal justice and community response systems. Best practices will be reviewed from across the country, and existing tools and resources will be evaluated. With a focus on local implementation, our goal is for participants to leave prepared to make recommendations for positive changes in their own communities. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 1/14/2015)
Effective Report Writing: Using the Language of Non-Consensual Sex
Even when properly investigated, the majority of reported sexual assaults are not successfully prosecuted. Prosecutors often argue that police reports are severely lacking while law enforcement argues that prosecuting attorneys want a sure win. No matter how good an investigation is--the prosecuting attorney may not feel confident filing criminal charges if the reports are incomplete or inaccurate. Or if the prosecutor files charges, the defendant may be acquitted if the reports summarizing the investigation are poorly written. This webinar is designed to help investigators write a report that will support successful prosecution. The session thus begins by outlining the many purposes of an investigator's report, and goes on to summarize some of the various techniques for effective report writing. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 11/16/2014)
Successfully Investigating Sexual Assault Against People with Disabilities
The primary message of training is often to "see the person, not the disability." Police officers are taught to approach victims with disabilities and the investigation "like they would in any other case." The hope is that victims who have a disability will be treated with the same respect as other victims, and this is an important goal we all need to support. (Closed Captioned. Originally Presented 5/28/2014)
Non-Profit Success: Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement
The key to the success of any non-profit organization begins with effective leadership and a strong board of directors. The board of directors serves as the business arm of the organization responsible for ensuring that their vision, mission and bottom line is achieved. Today, non-profit organizations are challenged with the reality of operating during difficult economic times impacting program services, fund development, recruitment of professional staff and overall program operations. (Originally Presented 3/5/2014)
A Paradigm Shift: The Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI)
This webinar will review current forensic psycho-physiological knowledge and practices, comparing what we think we know with new and exciting research and ideas for what we could do. Using the forensic experiential trauma interview approach, we can gather the best possible evidence by interviewing victims in ways that empower and calm them, so they are able to provide more accurate, coherent, consistent and persuasive narratives. (Originally Presented 9/25/2013)
Use of Alternate Light Source/Negative Invert Filters to Improve Visibility of Injuries Under the Skin
During this webinar the presenters will discuss ALS technology, negative invert filter software, and digital photo documentation as each relates to patients/victims who have been strangled or physically abused. These technologies can be used by medical professionals at the time of an exam or by law enforcement professionals with assaulted persons who do and do not seek medical treatment. In addition to physical injury visualization, ALS technology may be used to identify dried fluids (e.g. semen, blood, urine) and other evidence (e.g. fingerprints) that can be collected for forensic analysis. Without these technological tools many of the samples might otherwise go undetected under standard lighting conditions. (Originally Presented 8/22/2013)
Investigating and Prosecuting "Converted" Cases
All U.S. states, territories, and tribal governments must certify that they are in compliance with VAWA requirements for medical forensic examinations - in order to remain eligible for STOP grant funding. Specifically, exams must be available to sexual assault victims: (1) free of charge, and (2) regardless of their decision to participate in the criminal justice process.
This means that 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. In many communities, guidance is needed to successfully investigate and prosecute such "converted" cases. Otherwise, this option could be a false promise for victims.
(Originally Presented 8/22/2013)
Effective Victim Interviewing
EVAWI Executive Director Joanne Archambault and Board President Roger Canaff are pleased to offer this webinar on victim interviewing. This webinar mirrors the OLTI module on Interviewing the Victim, which walks participants through the stages and techniques for successfully interviewing sexual assault victims. (Originally Presented 8/9/2012)
Forensic Compliance in 2012
All states and territories must certify that they are in compliance with VAWA 2005 requirements for medical forensic examinations. Specifically, exams must be available to sexual assault victims:
1) free of charge, and 2) regardless of their decision to participate in the criminal justice process. (Originally Presented 2/7/2012)
Medical Mandated Reporting for Sexual Assault
In some states, medical professionals are legally mandated to notify law enforcement of any sexual assault that is committed (or suspected to have been committed) against one of their patients. These laws vary dramatically in terms of what triggers the mandated reporting requirement, what information must be reported, who must be notified of the report, and what specific procedures must be followed to comply with this mandated reporting requirement. This webinar is designed to clarify these complex issues and explore questions regarding compliance with VAWA 2005 provisions and forensic exams. (Originally Presented 1/13/2010)