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EVAWI HOME > Webinars > Webinar Details
Reducing Gender Bias in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation 2-Part Webinar Series
Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
11:00 AM PT/12:00 PM MT/1:00 PM CT/2:00 PM ET
Duration

This webinar series is approximately 120 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 2-part webinar series, 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.

Objectives

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.
Handouts

Presenters

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.  
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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