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EVAWI HOME > Webinars > Webinar Details
Opening Doors: Alternative Reporting Options for Law Enforcement and VAWA Forensic Compliance Webinar
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
12:00 AM PT/1:00 AM MT/2:00 AM CT/3:00 AM ET

This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long.


There is currently a very welcome national trend across the country emphasizing alternative reporting methods for sexual assault victims. It is partly the result of provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that were first enacted in 2005 and remain in effect under the current 2013 reauthorization. This is an area known as forensic compliance, and it is critically important to understand because these legislative provisions have dramatically altered the options available for victims to report sexual assault.

Yet implementing forensic compliance and other alternative reporting methods requires addressing many complex issues regarding: evidence collection, storage, reporting methods, records retention, retrieval, and collaboration with hospitals and other community agencies such as victim advocacy organizations. For example, if a sexual assault victim has a medical forensic examination without personally reporting to law enforcement, how long will the evidence be stored?  How will the case be recorded and tracked by the law enforcement agency? Who will victims contact if they want to convert to a standard reporting procedure? If victims choose an alternative reporting procedure, such as anonymous or non-investigative reporting, will it be investigated anyway? Or will the victim be allowed to decide when and if an investigation will proceed? Who will contact the advocacy organization, to ensure victims have access to the information, support, and other valuable services that an advocate can offer?

These are complex issues, and many communities have worked toward creative solutions to go beyond the "letter of the law" to honor the "spirit of the law" which is to increase victim access to the criminal justice system and other community resources. In other words, many Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams (SARRTs) are enacting reforms designed to "open more doors" for sexual assault victims.

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.



Joanne ArchambaultJoanne Archambault
Executive Director, End Violence Against Women International
Retired Sergeant, San Diego Police Department

Joanne Archambault is the Founder and Executive Director of EVAWI, as well as the President and Training Director of Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI), Inc. In April 2010, Joanne was honored by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for her decades of tireless work on behalf of sexual assault victims, a prestigious National Crime Victims' Service Award for Allied Professionals. On October 27, 2010, Joanne was invited to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden for the first assembly on violence against women to ever be held at the White House.

Joanne began her career working for the San Diego Police Department for almost 23 years, in a wide range of assignments. She first worked as an officer in Patrol and then as a detective in Gangs, Child Abuse, and Crimes Against Persons. As a sergeant, she had assignments in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Sex Crimes. During the last ten years of her service, Joanne supervised the Sex Crimes Unit, which had 13 detectives and was responsible for investigating approximately 1,000 felony sexual assaults within the City of San Diego each year. Over the course of her career, she has written numerous articles and developed a wide range of training and policy materials, as well as serving on national advisory boards.

Kimberly A. Lonsway, Ph.D.Kimberly A. Lonsway, Ph.D.
Director of Research, End Violence Against Women International

Kim Lonsway earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She then served for two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the interdisciplinary American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. She has volunteered for over fifteen years as a victim advocate, and was awarded the first-ever Volunteer of the Decade Award in 2012 from the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Kim previously served as the Director of Research for the National Center for Women & Policing, taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at California Polytechnic State University, and assisted Penny Harrington & Associates as the Director of Research and Training. In 2003, she joined EVAWI, where she develops grant proposals, creates training content and resource materials, and provides training and technical assistance for multidisciplinary audiences of practitioners in the fields of law enforcement, victim advocacy, health care, prosecution, and related disciplines. Kim is the co-author of a book with Penny Harrington entitled: "Investigating Sexual Harassment in Law Enforcement and Nontraditional Fields for Women" (Prentice Hall). She has also written over 60 published articles, book chapters, training modules, technical reports, government reports, commissioned documents. Along with Joanne Archambault, she served for five years as Co-Editor of the bimonthly Sexual Assault Report, published by the Civic Research Institute.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K045 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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