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EVAWI HOME > Webinars > Webinar Details
Use of Alternate Light Source/Negative Invert Filters to Improve Visibility of Injuries Under the Skin Webinar
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
12:00 AM PT/1:00 AM MT/2:00 AM CT/3:00 AM ET
We are delighted that SPEX Forensics sponsored this webinar. SPEX Forensics is a manufacturer of world-class forensics products including: Crime scene and Laboratory Supplies, Forensic Light Sources, Reflective Ultra Violet Imaging Systems, Fingerprint Image Enhancement and Identification Systems. The World Leader in Forensic Light Sources, SPEX Forensics is the manufacturer of the "Ultimate Forensic Light Source," the CrimeScope Series. This line of high-power, versatile light sources are highly effective in finding many different types of evidence including injuries on victims both living and deceased and are an invaluable tool in finding evidence not normally seen with the naked eye. Contact them for a no obligation, onsite demonstration at questions@mail.crimescope.com.


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.

During this webinar the presenters will discuss ALS technology, negative invert filter software, and digital photodocumentation 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.

The presenters will also provide an overview of each technology, implications for use, and review current research investigating how ALS technology can be been used with patients reporting strangulation and other forms of injury. Case examples will also be discussed.


At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • List 3 external physical symptoms observed in strangulation cases
  • Describe 3 differences between the ALS and negative invert filter technologies
  • Describe the application of ALS and negative invert filters to patients/victims reporting strangulation
  • List 3 challenges in using photodocumentation with ALS technology
  • Explain how using a tool to enhance visualization of an injury is different than diagnosing an injury

Not Just for Nurses

We also want to emphasize that this webinar is not just for forensic examiners! These techniques can also be used by law enforcement professionals in the field, to view and document injuries among victims who do not have a medical forensic examination. There are countless other applications as well, but it is important to develop a foundation of knowledge in these technologies so you can use them.

Continuing Education

For law enforcement professionals and others, you may be able to apply for continuing education credits using your personalized certificate and other documentation. If you have questions or would like assistance during the process, please contact staff members in our office at (509) 684-9800 or info@evawintl.org.




A native of Minnesota, Diana Faugno graduated with a degree in Nursing from the University of North Dakota in 1973 and she received her Master's in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors for End Violence Against Women International as well as a board member for CAPSAC (California American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children). She is a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Science, as well as a Distinguished Fellow in the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Ms. Faugno provides training across the country to assist community teams and support their staff development on a wide variety of topics relating to sexual assault. She also works as a nurse examiner both for the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center as well as Eisenhower Medical Center. Ms. Faugno is the co-author of Color Atlas of Sexual Assault (Mosby Publications 1997), which was the first book of its kind in the nation. She is also co-author of Sexual Assault Across the Life Span (GW Medical 2003), Adolescent and Adult Sexual Assault Assessment Learning Series Workbooks (2012), and numerous other publications.

Debra Holbrook, R.N., SANE-A, FNE A
Forensic Nurse Coordinator, Mercy Medical Center
Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Ms. Holbrook is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Radiologic Technology and The Union Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. After working in the field of critical care, Ms. Holbrook founded a Forensic Nurse Examiner Program in Delaware that became a model for the United States (US Senate, 2002).

In 2002, she testified on Capitol Hill before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on behalf of the Bill that was signed into law in 2005 as the DNA Justice Act. She is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the Delaware Nurse of the year, and the International Association of Forensic Nurses Pioneer Award. Ms. Holbrook has authored grants totaling over 6 million dollars to benefit victims of serious felony crimes against persons and lectures nationally for the Office for Victims of Crime in Washington, DC, educating medical professionals across the country. She has conducted over 200 pediatric and adult SANE educational offerings both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Holbrook has integrated comprehensive forensic practice into the SANE model and her programs have cared for patients of all types of interpersonal violence including domestic, elder, child, institutional, vulnerable populations, gunshots, stabbings, non-accidental poisonings and burns. She has pioneered the use of the Alternative Light Source technology and helped to establish court precedents in strangulation cases in Maryland court systems. She is currently Director of Forensic Nursing at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore which coordinates care for victims of interpersonal violence in all of the hospitals throughout the city of Baltimore.

Rachell A. Ekroos, PhC ARNP-BC AFN-BC

Center for Forensic Nursing Excellence International (CFNEI)

Rachell’s forensic nursing practice is guided by a philosophy encompassing integrity (personal, professional, and organizational), humility, respect for persons, justice, and ethics. Throughout her career she has actively advocated for establishing forensic medical standards of care that are grounded in research and theory for both victims and perpetrators of violence. Through CFNEI Rachell has provided forensic nursing and medico-legal education, case consultations, research collaboration and direct patient services in a myriad of settings through partnerships with individuals, communities, businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

As an ARNP with an independent forensic nursing practice, Rachell has expanded forensic nursing practice into highly specialized areas including forensic medical evaluations of persons seeking asylum who have been physically and/or sexually tortured, case consultations involving technology facilitated crimes against children (e.g. child pornography), commercial sexual exploitation of children, and trafficking of persons. Rachell also provides educational workshops and trainings related to clinical forensic photodocumentation and ethics in forensic nursing practice.

Rachell is currently completing a PhD in nursing with a scholarly focus on the ethical dimensions of forensic nursing practice. Her doctoral studies also include research related to forensic nursing photodocumentation and digital imaging practices. Areas of scholarly inquiry in forensic nursing include sexual violence across the lifespan; clinical, professional and organizational ethics; role conflict and uncertainty; conflicts of interest and conflicting interests.

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