Please note: All webinars will take place in Central Time (CT). To see the full Web Series schedule, click here!


CASE STUDY: 4949 Swiss Avenue: Where There's a Will, There's a Way
Julie Krawczyk, Donna Strittmatter Max
Is it a loving friendship? Or is it a crime, years in the making? When Mark McCay befriended 85-year old socialite Mary Ellen Bendtsen in 2002, what was his motive? He assisted Mary Ellen with some of her home’s maintenance requirements, listened to her stories of good times and great parties at her Swiss Avenue mansion, and tried to get her to give her interest in the property to him. She refused. Years later, after Mary Ellen fell and hit her head, McCay was able to get Mary Ellen to sign a power of attorney, which he used to isolate her from her family, manipulate her, and exercise undue influence over her. When Mary Ellen suffered a massive stroke one month later, Mark was there in the emergency room, will in hand. Years of planning and preparing were about to pay off for Mark McCay. This webinar will cover how witness testimony, videos taken by McCay and his attorney of Mary Ellen at the time she signed the power of attorney and the will, medical records, and probate court records came together in court to show McCay’s specific intent to steal Mary Ellen’s home from her rightful heirs.

Animal Abuse + Family Violence: Investigation & Prosecution Strategies to Keep Families Safe
Allie Phillips
Research has well-documented the link between animal abuse and family violence. With 68% of American homes having pets, family violence first responders and prosecutors should understand how pets are targeted to gain silence and compliance of victims, which can impact successful investigations and prosecutions. This webinar will explore the latest research on the importance of addressing animal abuse in family violence dynamics, how agencies can work together, and investigation and prosecution trial strategies. No abusive photos will be shown.

The Art of Perception: Part I
Amy Herman
This webinar will give law enforcement and other professionals who are committed to combating violence against women the necessary tools to enhance perception and communication in both investigation and critical response. Special consideration will be given to the coronavirus pandemic, which has broadly impacted the accessibility to and communication with domestic violence victims, nationwide. While the use of technology in curtailing violence is prevalent, it is human interaction and effective communication, especially during this pandemic, that is the foundation of successful crime fighting initiatives and reducing recidivism. Learning to analyze works of art in this interactive webinar will enable attendees to better understand victims' perspectives and help to formulate the most effective responses to each incident of violence. Recognition of patterns and the ability to articulate behavioral changes are critical skills in understanding cyclical violence. Works of art will also be used to dismantle biases and long held assumptions that can impede both optimal decision-°©ÔÇÉmaking and the fostering of collaborative efforts among law enforcement and social services agencies. Initially designed for the New York City Police Department, The Art of Perception is now a component in domestic violence and homicide investigators' curricula nationwide and will provide attendees with a renewed sense of inquiry and perceptiveness that will be instrumental in their practice to combat violence against women.

The Art of Perception: Part II, Multiple Perspectives for Better Decision Making
Amy Herman
In this webinar, The Art of Perception will use images of painting, sculpture, and photography as tools to reconsider biases, assumptions, cultural competence, and related ethical issues that factor into critical response and decision making. The webinar will challenge participants’ assumptions, foster creative problem-solving -- individually and collectively -- and augment critical analysis skills by incorporating multiple perspectives into their thinking. Looking at works of art as a group will enable participants to reconsider how they communicate observations and perceptions – both orally and in writing – which, in turn, helps to dismantle long-held assumptions and implicit biases that can impede best practices and decision making. Understanding and implementing a broader concept of inclusion without the constraints of implicit biases underlies a more objective, informed, and effect response to critical incidents. 

Become a Google Jedi: Building a Better Boolean String
Lauren Wagner
Google is everyone's go-to search engine, but most people aren't utilizing it to the full capability. Google has built-in tools to search particular websites, search for exact phrases, and search within URLs. This webinar will show how to effectively use Google to filter search results to relevant and useful information to accomplish tasks such as searching Facebook without a Facebook account, searching Instagram without an Instagram account, and searching a specific subreddit for information.

Best Practices for Working with Immigrant Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence
Rocio Molina, Jane Anderson
Domestic and sexual violence impacts immigrant communities at a high rate and often perpetrators escape accountability because victims are too afraid to seek help.  Where victims are not familiar with the U.S. criminal justice system, unaware of available victim services, and are Limited English Proficient (LEP), they face barriers that are often too high to overcome.  When victims do not feel like they can come forward and participate in investigations and prosecutions, dangerous offenders are left to continue to inflict violence on victims, communities, and law enforcement.  This workshop will highlight various tools that law enforcement and prosecutor can use to build trust and assist immigrant and LEP victims while strengthening our criminal justice response. The presenters will provide details about the U Visa and about special protections VAWA confidentiality offers to prevent deportation of crime victims and will look at how these issues shape trial strategies, including how to combat common defenses where victims or witnesses have applied for a U Visa.  The presentation will also include links to toolkits and resources to better work with immigrant and LEP victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Beyond the 911 Call: Achieving Holistic Justice for Domestic Violence Survivors
Carvana Cloud
The U.S. is engaged in a criminal justice reform conversation that requires justice professionals to be more trauma-informed and culturally inclusive. Research shows that only up to 50% of domestic violence survivors engage law enforcement. Additionally, many minority communities actively distrust law enforcement due to our nation's shameful history of behavior towards them. Justice for most survivors is not about the criminal conviction, but more about accessing services and opportunities that will allow them to heal in the wake of harm. This webinar will highlight the efficacy of Houston's coordinated response and provide attendees a blueprint to replicate this model in their communities as they seek justice on behalf of domestic violence survivors. Attendees will gain insight into the harm caused by a racially-biased system and explore how to encourage survivors to report through active listening and education of community stakeholders.

Beyond Evidence Collection: Using Forensic Nurse Findings in the Criminal Justice Process
Kim Nash
While it is well known that forensic nurses can contribute a great deal to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases, their value in the response to other crimes is less understood, especially in the absence of an evidence collection component. This webinar will explore how forensic nurses can strengthen the community and criminal justice response to violent crimes. Discussion will include using assessment findings for investigation and prosecution in the context of human trafficking, death investigation, intimate partner violence, disaster planning and unique approaches for a sexual assault response that go beyond the traditional SANE program structure. Short case examples will be utilized.

Beyond Protection Orders: Enhancing the Safety of Stalking Victims
Jennifer Landhuis
In 76% of femicides, offenders stalked their victims within the year preceding the murder. Yet, the criminal justice system often overlooks the specific needs and concerns of stalking victims. Identifying and intervening in stalking cases early can enhance safety, reduce violence, and – sometimes – even prevent homicide. This webinar will identify risk factors associated with stalking crimes and focus on enhancing victim safety, emphasizing community collaboration, ongoing stalking-specific risk assessment, and meaningful safety strategies. Join us for this interactive webinar that provides strategies for all professionals working with victims of stalking.

Black Girlhood, Interrupted: Pornography's Impact on Sexual Violence in the Lives of Black Girls & Women
Carolyn West 
The docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" left viewers asking: how could a popular singer produce child pornography that featured degrading acts involving Black girls and women? The reality is that these images are pervasive in the media and culture. This webinar will feature "Let Me Tell Y'all 'bout Black Chicks: Images of Black women in pornography," a searing documentary that unpacks the historical origins of the images found in contemporary pornography and identifies how these representations promote sexual violence against Black girls. With this understanding, attendees will learn concrete and practical strategies to assist Black sexual assault survivors in criminal justice and mental health settings. Specifically, attendees will identify prevalence rates and risk factors for sexual victimization in the lives of Black girls and women and will learn prevention and intervention strategies that are evidenced-based and culturally responsive.

Building a Sexual Assault Case with the Defense in Mind
Nancy Oglesby, Larry Braunstein
Investigating and prosecuting adult sexual assault cases are often very challenging. Victim behavior can appear counter-intuitive, the victim’s ability to share what happened can be compromised due to a number of factors, and jury bias presents additional hurdles. This webinar, taught by two former prosecutors, one of whom is now a defense attorney, will address the difficult issues faced by law enforcement and prosecutors in bringing a successful sexual assault case to trial. The presenters will address how the defense will view and prepare for the case, as well as address best practices for law enforcement and prosecutors to build the strongest cases possible.

CASE STUDY: But They Were "Private": Destroying a Life through Sextortion & Non-Consensual Pornography
Lou Luba
This webinar will examine the prosecution of State of Connecticut v. Christopher Lamb, and will address how a single person can devastate numerous lives through casual social media investigations and a few keystrokes. The presenter will focus on the growing national and international criminal threat of non-consensual pornography (NCP) and sextortion. Recorded post-conviction interviews with the defendant will give a unique insight into the thought process and methodical social engineering process utilized by the offender, as well as the motive behind his actions. Beyond a specific case study of the Lamb case, additional information and studies related to sextortion and NCP, including victim and offender profiles and resources for law enforcement and victims, will be presented.

Coercion & Consent: A Study of the Social & Legal Implications of #MeToo, Dirty John, & Suicide-by-Text
Amanda Elkanick Oder
Society is changing how we look at intimate partner violence, and the law is catching up. This workshop will provide updates on how "ripped from the headlines" topics like #MeToo, Time?s Up, Dirty John, Surviving R. Kelly, and the suicide of Conrad Roy/conviction of Michelle Carter can impact best practices for serving victims of abuse. Haven't been following one of these stories? The presenters will discuss the latest developments in laws related to coercion, free will, and consent, as well as the innovative solutions that these cases have inspired for victims of bullying, emotional abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

Court Ordered Abuse: Violence & Long-Lasting Trauma of Women Forced to Co-Parent with Their Abuser
Doreen Hunter, Barry Goldstein, Melanie Blow, Carol Midboe, Katie Amber
Recent articles have highlighted the increasingly common occurrence of women being forced into violent co-parenting relationships with their abuser. In many instances, women were ignored as they tried to file for protective orders or showed existing protective orders or fresh bruises. The presenters will analyze three cases of violence perpetrated against women during child exchanges and discuss how the violence was targeted through proxies such as children, friends, and family. Attendees will review the red flags and warning signs of this type of domestic violence and identify ways in which to prevent it from happening. 

Creating Culturally Responsive & Holistic Abusive Partner Interventions
Brittany Davis, Juan Carlos Arean
Communities across the country are looking for new ways to include abusive partner intervention in their coordinated community response to domestic violence and are in need of flexible, holistic approaches that reflect the strengths and the needs of  particular communities. The presenters have worked with jurisdictions across the country to help program facilitators, criminal and civil judges, advocates, probation, and other stakeholders develop new and strengthened strategies to increase their engagement around issues of abusive partner accountability, engagement, and victim safety. This webinar will identify national practices that value culture and community, as well as help attendees apply guiding principles to their individual jurisdictions.

Dissecting the “Trauma Brain”: A Closer Look at Trauma-Informed Justice in Indian Country
Leslie A. Hagen
This webinar will address the effects of trauma from a prosecutor's perspective on victims and witnesses. A tribal strangulation case will serve as the backdrop and will illustrate what can happen when non-trauma-informed interviewing practices and report writing occur during the course of an investigation. The manner in which a crime victim is interviewed and how well her trauma is understood by members of the criminal justice system can dramatically impact the answers she is able to provide and her willingness to have her case prosecuted. The presenter will also provide best practice examples for incorporating a trauma-informed law enforcement and prosecution response into violent crime cases in Indian Country.

Dissociation in Adult Survivors of Trauma
Colin Ross
Dissociation is a common response to both single traumatic events and to chronic trauma such as domestic violence, childhood abuse, prolonged combat exposure, and human trafficking. Types of dissociative symptoms include: depersonalization (feeling unreal or disconnected from one's body); amnesia for traumatic events in the absence of drugs, alcohol, or brain injury; and identity confusion or fragmentation. Most training programs in mental health, law enforcement and other disciplines do not provide adequate training in the recognition of dissociation. This webinar will discuss how to ask about symptoms of dissociation during an assessment, investigation, or interview using practical, specific examples. The presenter will describe four different meanings of the word 'dissociation' in the literature; confusion can arise when it is not clear which meaning a person has in mind. Besides having symptoms of dissociation, a person can meet criteria for one of the dissociative disorders; the presenter will review these briefly but will concentrate primarily on symptoms, rather than diagnoses.

Exposing What’s Concealed: Leveraging Federal Firearm Statutes to Increase Victim Safety & Offender Accountability
John Guard, Heidi Bonner
The U.S. has recently experienced at least four years of increases in intimate partner homicide. Addressing firearms, particularly those unlawfully possessed, is essential, as research has repeatedly shown that the presence of a firearm in an intimate partner relationship substantially increases the risk of a homicide. The importance of reducing the presence of firearms in such relationships extends to law enforcement officers, as well. 95% of domestic violence-related law enforcement officer homicides from 1996 to 2010 were committed with a firearm. This webinar will provide an overview of federal firearms laws to ensure that those who attend acquire a firm understanding of law enforcement authority to enforce federal gun laws. The presenters will include information on promising legislation and practices concerning the seizure of firearms in the context of IPV.

CASE STUDY: Harem of Horror: A Batterer's Manipulation of His Victims & the Criminal Justice System
Elissa Wev
Christopher Whaley was a model probationer and a master manipulator. He was well-versed in the conditions and consequences of being on family violence probation; he used those very same conditions to have his victim arrested on four separate occasions and jailed for over 150 days. Prior to pleading to probation on two felony charges of family violence against his pregnant girlfriend, B, Whaley called police from a Dallas hospital to accuse B of assaulting him. B was indicted, arrested, and pleaded to her own felony probation for Aggravated Assault. For the next three years, Whaley kept B a prisoner to her probation conditions. He convinced court officers, prosecutors, and a district judge that B was the problem. Kept hidden was the fact that B was just one of three women Whaley rotated in a carousel of violence, abuse, and manipulation--until B joined unlikely allies and fought back. This webinar will examine how Whaley exploited systematic and personal vulnerabilities to weaponize the criminal justice system against his victims. Attendees will explore strategies for prosecuting probation violations to hold batterers accountable.

I Just Can't Think Straight: Partner Inflicted Brain Injury, Domestic Violence, & a Way Forward
Rachel Ramirez
Advocates have known forever that abusers intentionally target a victim's head, neck, and face with terrifying and painful repeated assaults and strangulation. But, we haven't realized the life-changing ways it can impact our brains. These invisible injuries are rarely identified and almost never immediately treated, and have physical, emotional, and cognitive consequences that can impact every area of a person's life, including creating additional barriers to accessing lifesaving medical, domestic violence, justice, and crime victim services. When these injuries continue unidentified and untreated, many other connected and costly problems can develop, including struggles with mental health, substance use, suicide, and a list of physical health issues rarely recognizably connected to domestic violence. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN), in collaboration with research partner The Ohio State University, is on the forefront of game-changing research and practice responses to address the unrecognized public health crisis of Partner Inflicted Brain Injury (PIBI). Attendees will learn about tools to educate survivors and staff, support their advocacy, and leave ready to integrate knowledge into practice to better serve those whose brains were hurt by their partners.

Labor Trafficking in the U.S. & Successful Local Investigations
Rochelle Keyhan, Joseph Scaramucci
Foreign and indigenous victims in the U.S. are underserved and, many times, a misunderstood population. A large gap exists for understanding different indigenous communities, which are often lumped into one nationality when encountering the U.S. legal system. Understanding the wide, diverse cultural traditions of indigenous communities and providing a trauma-informed victim approach for indigenous populations is crucial. This webinar will discuss incorporating culture into a victim-centered approach to working with indigenous trafficking survivors from Mexico and the U.S., and share helpful resources for working with survivors from these communities.

CASE STUDY: No Victim? No Problem: How to Win a Jury Trial Without a Victim
Miiko Anderson, Grant Bradford
This webinar will feature an in-depth, comprehensive look at the successful investigation and prosecution of People v. Herbert Goodwin. Goodwin was a convicted pimp who re-offended by forcefully and violently trafficking multiple victims, one of whom was a minor with special needs. During the criminal proceedings, the minor became unable to withstand the emotional and psychological stress. While on the stand, she suffered a complete breakdown during a critical evidentiary hearing, and it was apparent that she would not be able to testify at trial. This webinar will focus on the tools, tactics, and evidence used to obtain a guilty jury verdict despite her unavailability for trial.

Project 180: The New Way to Investigate and File on Traffickers While Diverting Prostitution Sellers
Johna Stallings, Carla Manuel
In Harris Co., Texas, a team of prosecutors, analysts, and an investigator work together out of the District Attorney's Office to combat trafficking by diverting prostitution sellers while investigating misdemeanor seller cases to develop trafficking suspects. The Director of Trafficking Intelligence, along with a team of analysts, review misdemeanor selling cases as they come in to develop trafficking suspects out of databases, social media, and digital evidence to file felony offenses without the necessity of an outcry by any victims. Analysts develop suspects and turn information over to prosecutors and investigators to write search warrants and file charges once all information has been thoroughly investigated and developed against the true criminals, which includes Aggravated Promotion, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activities, and other felony offenses. In this webinar, case studies will be analyzed to show the process of how trafficking suspects are developed out of misdemeanor arrests, along with an understanding of how the diversion program assists in getting sellers out of the lifestyle of prostitution. Don’t be forever dependent upon reactive investigations of trafficking offenses; learn to conduct proactive investigations of traffickers who will no longer fly under law enforcement radar through an effective team approach. The presenters will provide statistics to show how and why this method works and how it will become the new standard in sex trafficking investigations.

Router Artifacts: The Call is Coming From the House
John Trenary
Domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and other crimes where a victim is targeted by a known suspect often involve little corroborative evidence. For example, when a victim reports a stalking violation, and the suspect states “I wasn’t there! I was across town!”, location-based evidence becomes valuable, objective evidence to further the investigation. One potential source of location-based evidence that is often overlooked is a WiFi router. The smart phones that people carry around everyday routinely and automatically connect to known WiFi networks when the device comes within range of the WiFi router. The router logs from these WiFi networks serve as a silent witness detailing when a specific device came within range and connected to the network. This webinar will introduce attendees to the potential evidentiary value of WiFi network logs, forensic challenges associated with WiFi networks, and the basics of recovering valuable corroborative location information from WiFi networks.

Strangulation Foundations
Kelsey McKay
Statutes criminalizing strangulation have passed nationally, but many communities have not received basic training on how to identify, investigate or successfully prosecute this misunderstood crime. This webinar will discuss the prevalence of this often-missed form of violence and discuss why the lack of external evidence misguides the criminal justice system. Better understanding of alternative evidence, basic anatomy, and the physiological consequences of impeding cases will provide a strong foundation upon which communities can build a better response and shape stronger protocols.

Talking to Victims: The Basics of Applying Trauma-Informed Practices
Justin Boardman
Talking to victims and witnesses of violence can be difficult, whether you are brand new to the field or a veteran on the verge of burnout. This webinar will briefly review the bare basics of the neurobiology of trauma and discuss areas of a victim’s or witnesses’ experience to interview around. Thoughtfully engaging with a traumatized person allows more opportunity  to potentially locate additional physical evidence, keep victims engaged, and provide procedural justice. Best practices for victim and witness interviewing, especially as it relates to trauma, and strategies for formal and on-scene circumstances will be discussed.

Traumatic Bonding: Why Victims May Trade Escape Skills for Coping Skills
Julie Owens
Learn about traumatic bonding: A complex, unconscious, psychological, and biochemical survival response that is often misidentified as co-dependency or pathology. Because abuse is routine but unpredictable, and escape seems impossible, victims may develop a paradoxical attachment to their abuser. This webinar will cover how traumatic bonding develops and ways to support affected survivors.

Understanding Narcissism as the Key to Understanding Domestic Abuse & Gender-Based Violence
Ramani Durvasula
This webinar will clarify exactly what narcissism is, what it means clinically, and how this pattern is central to understanding domestic abuse and gender-based violence in all forms. Current models of family and gender-based violence do not account for narcissism and its associated patterns, which is a significant omission. Narcissism is often portrayed and misunderstood as superficial vanity and attention-seeking behavior, as well as mere egocentricity and selfishness. While these are elements of narcissism, the key pillars of narcissism - lack of empathy, entitlement, grandiosity, arrogance, impulsivity, poor frustration tolerance often manifested as rage, emotional dysregulation, incapacity for taking responsibility, and a propensity to emotional manipulation, exploitation, control and coercion - are associated with a greater likelihood of physically and psychologically abusing partners and other people close to them. These patterns are often intergenerational, culturally-reinforced, and a byproduct of existing frameworks of gender privilege, patriarchy, social and economic stratification, and authoritarianism. Many clinicians are not adequately trained in personality patterns such as narcissism, which can often leave a ""hole"" in our understanding of these patterns of violence and abuse. A clearer understanding of narcissism may actually shift the conversation on gender-based violence and emotional and physical abuse into new perspectives which can inform prevention and policy.

Understanding the Needs of Victims in the Deaf Community
Heather Daley, Wilma Dennis
This webinar will focus on the needs of deaf survivors and recognize their unique struggles of living within the deaf community and the difficulty of receiving domestic violence/sexual assault (DV/SA) services. The deaf and hard-of-hearing survivors' world is completely different from the hearing survivors'. The lack of communication with hearing providers, the lack of access to the outside world, and the small, tight-knit culture of the deaf community all provide different ways of living and dealing with domestic violence. Frequently, the deaf survivor will spend time struggling with the decision whether or not to use services currently provided by those who are unfamiliar with deaf culture and the unique needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing survivors. Because of this unfamiliarity with deaf culture & language, a deaf survivor may end up spending more time educating a provider on a survivor’s unique communication & cultural needs rather than on the abusive experience that a survivor needs help to overcome. This webinar will discuss the unique needs of the deaf community, as well as those with multiple identities (such as Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing).

Victim Safety in the Rideshare Industry: A Conversation with Uber
Billy Kewell, Chad Sniffen
Curious about Uber’s work to improve rider safety? Want to know more about how victims use rideshare apps like Uber to improve their safety? This webinar will explore Uber’s 2019 US Safety Report, the safety tools available to riders and drivers, and how rideshare apps like Uber offer survivors important economic opportunities that can reshape their financial independence. 

What You Should Expect from an Effective On-Scene Investigation
Mark Wynn
Through the use of interactive participation, case studies, and re-enactments, attendees will view domestic incidents and crime scenes through the eyes of the investigating officer. Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will understand the five objectives of an on-scene investigation, interviewing techniques, victim behaviors, and offender motivation.

When Predators Take Flight: What We Can Learn from Sexual Assault Cases at 30,000 Feet
Scott Hampton
This webinar will take a birds-eye view of sexual assault by examining actual cases that occurred at 30,000 feet in order to highlight common dynamics that occur in in the majority of sexual assaults, whether on land or in the air, including: offender tactics, barriers to reporting, victim blame, drug-facilitated assaults, the role of first responders and other members of a sexual assault response team, bystander intervention, jurisdictional ambiguities, cross-cultural variations, the intersection with human trafficking, investigative components, and prevention strategies. The presenter will discuss how insights from and for the airline industry can be applied to any environment in which sexual assaults are both common and easily missed (e.g., in colleges, correctional facilities, bars and nightclubs, and other forms of mass transportation).

Where There is Dark, There is Light: Exploring the Online Universe
Myra Strand, Russell Strand
The online universe, including its darkest corners, is vast and rapidly expanding. Pornography represents 35% of all internet downloads, and the majority is highly toxic. Online gaming is literally changing the neurobiological landscape of our children’s minds, where often cyberbullying and microaggressions are normalized within very sexist story lines. However, where there is dark, there is light. Vulnerability, empathy, and human-centric concepts are slowly becoming expectations of online interaction. There is wide conversation around loneliness and how to increase authentic, healthy connection. Innovative thinkers are busy finding creative solutions to massive problems such as environmental degradation, violence, poverty, and the depression of the soul. This webinar will explore the implications of both sides of the spectrum. The presenters will make the case that there is still the possibility that we can create a world—even, and maybe especially, online—where trauma is met with compassion and healing.

Witness Intimidation: Eliminating the Payoff
Jane Anderson, Dalia Racine
Coercive control asserted in the course of an abusive or exploitative relationship rarely ends when an arrest is made. Intimidation tactics often prevent victims from identifying as such and discourage them from participating in the justice system. To overcome these challenges, keep victims safe, and achieve justice in these cases requires robust collaboration between criminal justice professionals and the community-based programs that serve victims. This webinar will introduce prosecution strategies to minimize opportunities for intimidation, identify it when it occurs, preserve and make effective use of evidence of intimidation, and aggressively prosecute intimidation-related crimes.