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EVAWI HOME > Call for Abstracts

This deadline has passed and applications for our 2018 Annual Conference are being reviewed.  Decisions will be emailed no later than 7/1/2017

2019 International Conference on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

San Diego, CA
April 22-24, 2019

EVAWI is inviting workshop proposals for our International Conference on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Our conference promotes innovative techniques, unique approaches, and promising practices in responding to gender-based violence.

We are seeking proposals for workshop presentations that meet our organizational mission and the conference objectives, which are to:

  • Improve responses to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking and elder abuse
  • Enhance collaboration among criminal justice and community professionals through a multidisciplinary approach
  • Improve the investigation and prosecution of those who perpetrate gender-based violence
  • Promote effective prevention and risk reduction programs

While there are a wide variety of topics that could meet these objectives, we specifically encourage proposals that address the following topic areas.

Eliminating Gender Bias in Law Enforcement: In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice issued groundbreaking new guidance on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Proposals could explore specific improvements that could be made in law enforcement policies and practices, because bias does not operate on a theoretical level. Bias becomes reality through the daily operations and culture of an agency. Proposals could address concrete recommendations in areas such as:

  • Response protocols
  • Investigative practices
  • Appropriate caseloads
  • Allocation of resources
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration
  • Agency leadership

Improving Access to Law Enforcement and Reporting Rates: Many law enforcement agencies have enacted reforms to provide victims with a range of alternative reporting options. These procedures vary significantly across agencies, and more information is needed to share promising strategies and evaluate “lessons learned.” Although they are often designed for victims of sexual assault, they could also be used for victims of intimate partner violence and other crimes. Law enforcement agencies have also worked with collaborative partners to improve community responses and increase access by promoting the concept of Start by Believing. Workshop proposals could address such community outreach efforts, agency reforms, changes in Police Department Policies and Procedures, as well as data about case outcomes.

Improving Access to Medical Forensic Examinations: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requires that states, territories, and tribes offer free medical forensic examinations to sexual assault victims regardless of whether they participate in the criminal justice process. Yet victims can only exercise this right if they know about it. VAWA 2013 requires jurisdictions to coordinate with health care providers to notify the public about the availability of these examinations. Workshop proposals could share promising strategies used for public outreach and evidence for their effectiveness. Proposals could also provide information about how to provide victims with patient-centered options and when desired, procedures for transferring victims who present at a facility not offering medical forensic examinations.

Addressing the Challenge of Untested Evidence: The past two decades have seen city after city faced with public outcry resulting from hundreds – if not thousands – of sexual assault evidence kits stored in police property rooms, never submitted for analysis. Some have responded by implementing a “forklift approach,” submitting all kits for at least basic testing. In an effort to prevent the problem from repeating itself, many states have enacted “test all kits” legislation, requiring law enforcement to submit all evidence kits within a specified period of time. We have learned a great deal from the communities that have pioneered work in this area. However, questions remain regarding the follow-up investigation, prosecution, or exoneration in these cases. Workshop proposals could advance the field by addressing critical questions such as:

  • How should this follow-up take place?
  • How should resources be allocated?
  • What can we learn from the outcomes in these cases?

Managing Non-Investigative Reports: As a result of VAWA, victims have the right to obtain a medical forensic examination without making a decision regarding whether or not to participate in the criminal justice process. Yet little is known about what happens to these cases. Workshop proposals could share “lessons learned” based on data collected on the characteristics of these victims and cases, as well as case outcomes.

  • How many victims exercise this option?
  • Why do they choose it?
  • Are certain victims more likely than others?
  • How many later “convert” to a standard reporting process?
  • How long does it take to “convert?”
  • Are these cases likely to be prosecuted?
  • How do victims feel about the process?

Workshops could also examine policies and procedures for handling non-investigative reports of sexual assault. To be successful, protocols require extensive collaboration between all of the responding professionals involved: law enforcement, victim advocates, and health care providers.

These are just a few topics of interest … The possibilities are endless!

Selection Criteria

  • Innovation with respect to best practices
  • Quality and originality
  • Relevance to the field and multiple disciplines
  • The extent to which the presentation identifies and addresses current and emerging issues in the field
  • The extent to which the presentation bridges research and practice (proposals backed by empirical findings will be given preference)


If your application is selected, you will receive a complimentary conference registration, travel expenses, and hotel accommodations the night before and the night of your presentation(s). Priority consideration may be given to presenters who are able pay some of their travel expenses (e.g., with grant funding, agency support, personal funds).

No honorarium or speaker fee will be paid to conference presenters.

Submission Requirements

Please see the Abstract Submission Guidelines for detailed information about what to include in your application, including examples of abstracts and learning objectives.

All required information for Primary presenters and co-presenters must be completed before submitting your application. Incomplete presentation applications will not be considered.

All conference presentations are 90 minutes long. You may propose more than one conference presentation, but all of the following documents must be submitted for each presentation, in order for it to be considered:

  • A Presentation Application for each presenter
  • A CV (curriculum vitae) and/or resumé for each presenter (Survivors presenting based on their personal experience do not need to include a CV or resumé)
  • A biographical sketch for each presenter
  • An abstract describing the presentation
  • At least four measurable learning objectives for each workshop
  • Optional Supporting materials

Incomplete presentation proposals will not be considered.

Your application will not be accepted unless all required information is submitted before 5/1/2018. However, we strongly suggest submitting your proposal(s) long before the deadline, because they are reviewed in an ongoing way.

EVAWI will not generally approve presentations with more than two presenters. To discuss an exception, contact Joanne Archambault.

Please email complete presentation applications and supporting documents to abstracts@evawintl.org.

All abstracts will be reviewed and decisions emailed no later than 7/1/2018.

Deadline for 2019 conference proposals: Tuesday, May 1st, 2018


Email abstracts@evawintl.org.

Click here to view information about previous EVAWI conferences.

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