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How Do I Know You’re Not Lying? Gender Bias and Sexual Assault Response Webinar
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019
12:00 PM PT/1:00 PM MT/2:00 PM CT/3:00 PM ET

This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long.

Course Description

A systematic and impartial law enforcement investigation 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, the presenters 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. The presenters will begin by introducing the concept of implicit bias, and then address key questions about gender bias in particular that can disadvantage (or advantage) either the victim or suspect. The presenters will also describe the critical role gender bias plays in the designation of false reports in cases of sexual assault and will consider the intersection of gender bias and victim recantations.

Unfortunately, one common manifestation of bias is the view that sexual assault disclosures are “false until proven true” – victims are viewed with skepticism until they can prove that they were “really raped.” This is why EVAWI launched Start by Believing, a global campaign to increase awareness of sexual assault and improve societal responses. Communities and agencies that embrace the Start by Believing philosophy can use a variety of EVAWI-created materials to implement reforms and develop their own campaigns and local initiatives. But Start by Believing is more than just a few words. It is not simply a campaign or a pledge; it is a philosophical stance that “flips the script” on the message victims have historically received from professionals and support people, which is: “How do I know you’re not lying?”


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

  • Define the concept of implicit bias and explore how gender bias in particular can influence law enforcement responses and the investigation of sexual assault.
  • Examine the relationship between gender bias and victim selection, victim blaming, false reports, and victim recantations.
  • Describe Start by Believing and other practices that can help to avoid gender bias and increase our opportunities to identify, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault.



Jerald Monahan PictureJerald Monahan MS, Chief of Police, Yavapai College, Cadre of Experts, EVAWI, 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 became the Chief of Police for the City of Prescott in March of 2013. In June 2016, he began serving as the Chief of Police for the Yavapai College Police Department, adding Campus Public Safety to his long line of policing experience. In addition to his continuing service as Chief of Police at Yavapai College, in November of 2017, he became End Violence Against Women International’s first Law Enforcement Liaison. Chief Monahan is actively involved in addressing issues surrounding violence against women.

Chief Monahan has served on several boards and coalitions, and he has been instrumental in establishing domestic violence fatality review teams throughout Arizona, where 13 teams now cover most of the state. He was appointed to the Board of Directors for End Violence Against Women International in 2015, where he later served as the Board President until October 2017. 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 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 continues to be active in the FBI National Academy Associates Alumni Association.


Wendy PatrickWendy Patrick JD, PhD, Deputy District Attorney, District Attorney’s Office, Cadre of Experts, EVAWI, San Diego, CA

Dr. Wendy L. Patrick is a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney, recently named the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section. She has also been recognized by her peers as one of the Top Ten criminal attorneys in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript. She has completed over 160 trials ranging from hate crimes, to domestic violence, to first-degree murder.

In her current assignment in the Special Operations Division, she handles sensitive cases involving public officials, officer involved shootings, and attorney misconduct. In her previous assignment in the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, Dr. Patrick prosecuted sexually violent predators, human traffickers, stalkers, rapists, and child molesters. She is past co-chair of both the statewide California District Attorneys Association Sexually Violent Predator Committee, and Human Trafficking Committee. Her doctoral thesis for her PhD focused on the psychology of attraction used to seduce victims and their families. She has been involved with the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, the San Diego Child Protection Team, and the Sexual Assault Response Team, from whom she received the SART Response with a Heart Award for her significant contribution to the professional field of sexual assault prosecution.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2016-TA-AX-K010 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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