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Reducing Gender Bias in Sexual Assault Response and Investigation Webinar - Part 2
Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
11:00 AM PT/12:00 PM MT/1:00 PM CT/2:00 PM ET

This webinar is approximately 60 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.

In Part 1, we begin by introducing the concept of implicit bias, and then address key questions about how this can influence sexual assault dynamics and responses. For example, we will examine the relationship between gender bias and victim selection at the time of the sexual assault.

In Part 2, we resume this discussion with an exploration of how gender bias affects victim blaming after the sexual assault. 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. The presentation concludes with recommendations for reducing the effect of gender bias in these cases.


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

  • Analyze how gender bias can play a role in blaming victims for their sexual assault.
  • Explore how gender bias play a role in yielding reluctant and recanting victims.
  • Examine the relationship between gender bias and ideas about false reporting of sexual assault, and the detection of deception based on victim behaviors.
  • Describe policies and practices that can help to avoid gender bias and improve criminal justice responses to sexual assault, particularly law enforcement investigations.



Picture of Michael CrumrineSergeant Michael Crumrine
Sergeant, Austin Police Department

Michael Crumrine is a Sergeant with the Austin Texas Police Department and has over thirty years of law enforcement experience. He began his investigative career in the adult Sex Crimes Unit where he investigated felony and misdemeanor sexually related offenses against adult victims. His investigations included non-stranger and stranger sexual assault cases, serial cases, alcohol & drug facilitated cases, investigations involving same sex victims, and sexual assault cases that stemmed from intimate partner violence relationships. Sergeant Crumrine’ s investigative career also included being a detective in the Homicide Unit where he investigated all manner of death including homicides, suicides, accidental and natural deaths, and the Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit, (SOAR).

Sergeant Crumrine is a founding member and current President of the Lesbian and Gay Peace Officers Association - Austin, the first and only LGBTQ+ Peace Officers Association in Texas. Sergeant Crumrine has written nationally on the subject of intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ+ community, detailing ways law enforcement can improve their response to LGBTQ+ victims. Sergeant Crumrine has created training and policies for the Austin Police Department in regard to their interaction with the LGBTQ+ community, and was instrumental in the adoption of a victim neutral affidavit so all victims of crime have their identities protected in public documents. Sergeant Crumrine continues to serve as an active duty officer and consults on a national level in the field of sexual and intimate partner violence.

Picture of Heather HuhtanenHeather Huhtanen
Gender Equality Consultant/Trainer

Heather Huhtanen is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland where she works to promote gender equality in the context of international development, security and justice reform and peace and transition processes. She moved to The Hague, The Netherlands in 2008 to attend graduate school and has been working internationally since completing her MA in December 2009. Prior to moving abroad, Heather worked for the Oregon Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force where she had the opportunity to collaborate with Ret. Sgt. Joanne Archambault and to become familiar with the work of EVAWI.

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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