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Reducing Gender Bias in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation Webinar (LIVE)
Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
9:00 AM PT/10:00 AM MT/11:00 AM CT/12:00 PM ET

This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long.

Course Description

Systematic, thorough, and impartial law enforcement investigations must seek to avoid drawing on gender-based stereotypes and attitudes at every step of the process. This is why the US Department of Justice (DOJ) published groundbreaking guidance for law enforcement in 2015, entitled, Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

In this webinar, we will explore the phenomenon of gender bias, both explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious), and the resulting stereotypes and attitudes that can influence the professional response to, and investigation of, sexual assault. Many of the same principles apply to cases of intimate partner violence and other gender-based violence.

We will begin by introducing the concept of implicit bias, and then address key questions about how gender bias can disadvantage (or advantage) either the victim or suspect. For example, we will examine the relationship between gender bias and victim selection at the time of the sexual assault, as well as victim blaming afterward. We will also evaluate how gender bias plays a critical role in the designation of false reports in cases of sexual assault, and consider the intersection of gender bias and victim recantations. Parallels will be drawn to other types of gender-based violence.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Define the concept of implicit bias, and explore how gender bias can influence law enforcement responses and investigations of sexual assault.
  • Examine the relationship between gender bias and victim selection, victim blaming, false reports, and victim recantations in sexual assault cases.
  • Describe policies and practices that can help to avoid gender bias and increase our opportunities to identify, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault.
  • Explore parallels with intimate partner violence and other gender-based crimes.


Picture of Kimberly LonswayKimberly Lonsway, PhD
Director of Research, EVAWI, San Luis Obispo, CA

Dr. Kim Lonsway is a Founding Board Member and current Research Director for EVAWI, America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving criminal justice responses to sexual assault. Before EVAWI, Dr. Lonsway served as the Director of Research for the National Center for Women & Policing and the Director of Research and Training for Penny Harrington & Associates. She also taught psychology at California Polytechnic State University.

Dr. Lonsway earned her PhD in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and then served for two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the interdisciplinary American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. Her research has always focused on sexual violence and the criminal justice and community response system, and she volunteered for over 15 years as a victim advocate for rape crisis centers in two different communities. In 2012, she was awarded the first-ever Volunteer of the Decade Award from the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center in San Luis Obispo, CA - an award specifically created to recognize Lonsway's years of service and dedication to this local rape crisis center.

Dr. Lonsway co-authored a book with Chief 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, technical reports, government reports, and commissioned documents - in addition to numerous training modules, bulletins, and other resources. She served for five years as Co-Editor of the Sexual Assault Report, a bimonthly publication of the Civic Research Institute.

Over her career, Dr. Lonsway has trained thousands of professionals across the country and around the world, testified as an expert witness in both criminal and civil court cases, and responded to countless inquiries from survivors, practitioners, researchers, educators, policymakers, and the media on topics associated with sexual assault victimization and the criminal justice and community response system.

Jerald MonahanChief Jerald Monahan
Law Enforcement Liaison, EVAWI, Chief of Police, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ

Chief Jerald Monahan is a 40-year public safety official having begun his law enforcement career in 1978 at the Arizona Department of Corrections. Having served both municipal police departments and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, he began serving the City of Prescott as their Chief of Police in March of 2013. In June 2016, Chief Monahan became the Chief of Police for the Yavapai College Police Department, adding Campus Public Safety to his long line of experience in policing. In addition to his service as Chief of Police at Yavapai College, in November of 2017, he joined the staff at EVAWI as their Law Enforcement Liaison.

Chief Monahan is actively involved in addressing issues surrounding violence against women. In April of 2015, he was appointed to the Board of Directors for EVAWI where he later served as the Board President until October 2017.

Chief Monahan served on the Pinal County Safe Home Network, and was a member of the Board of Directors for Against Abuse, Inc. He has been a member of the Pinal County Domestic Violence Coalition since 1996 and was instrumental in getting the Pinal County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team started in 2006, serving as one of the first co-chairs. He was appointed to the Governor's Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women in 2003 and reappointed in 2008 and served as the Commission Chair until December 2013. In 2005, he was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve on a committee to study the impact of domestic violence on the courts. Chief Monahan taught the Domestic Violence curriculum at the Central Arizona Regional Law Officers Training Academy from 1992 to 2002 and he served on a subject matter expert committee to develop and update this curriculum for the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.

Chief Monahan has been instrumental in establishing domestic violence fatality review teams throughout Arizona, where 13 teams now cover the majority of the state. He currently serves as a consultant for the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative, providing training and technical assistance to developing review teams throughout the country. Chief Monahan served as co-chair of the Yavapai County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team from 2014 to 2016 and the East Valley Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team from 2010 to 2012. While Chief of Police for the City of Apache Junction, he served on the Board of Directors for the Community Alliance Against Family Abuse in Northern Pinal County, including serving as the Board Chair from 2011 to 2013.

Chief Monahan holds a Master of Science degree in Leadership with an Emphasis on Crisis Management and Disaster Preparedness, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Administration from Grand Canyon University. He is also a graduate of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Project CENTRL, a two-year rural leadership development program. He graduated from the FBI's National Academy in 2007, and he continues to be active in the FBI National Academy Associates Alumni Association.
This project is supported by Grant No. 2016-TA-AX-K010 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, US 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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