Advancing the Trauma-Informed Approach to Sexual Assault: New Challenges, New Expectations
In this workshop, the presenter will share lessons learned while crisscrossing the country addressing trauma-informed sexual assault reforms during 300+ training and consultation events in 48 states and on 100 university campuses and military installations across the country. The progress that has been made by instituting trauma-informed approaches for sexual assault response and investigations has been significant and inspirational, and at the same time there must be an understanding of the limits of this approach and cautions to ensure proper training. The presenter will facilitate a discussion of this progress and recent challenges concerning the presumption of innocence and the due process rights for those reported to have committed an offense. Attendees will leave being able to answer the question: Can we be trauma-informed for victims while still ensuring the critical rights for those reported to have committed an offense?
Animal Abuse + Family Violence: Investigation, Prosecution, & Service Strategies to Keep Families Safe
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 session 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.
*INTERACTIVE* Aquatic Crimes Against Women Staged as Noncriminal Bathtub Deaths
*Paid pre-registration required. Restricted to law enforcement, investigators, and prosecutors.* Aquatic crimes against women (ACAW) are often staged as noncriminal bathtub deaths. In this hands-on workshop, you will work a bathtub homicide case and learn how to document the victim’s body, critical scene evidence, and reporting party evidence. Skills will include photographing wet/damp evidence, interviewing suspects of ACAW, identifying important injury and postmortem physiology artifacts, and applying a practical investigative framework with a bathtub case investigation form you can bring to your department. Bring note-taking tools and a clipboard.
*INTERACTIVE* Aquatic Crimes Against Women Staged as Noncriminal Swimming Pool & Openwater Deaths
*Paid pre-registration required. Restricted to law enforcement, investigators, and prosecutors.* Just as fire investigators and crash reconstructionists need training to recognize, identify, document, and investigate crimes in those arenas, anyone working cases involving confined or open water needs training on the realities of what happens to living and dead bodies in water, the drowning process, how to determine truthfulness and deception in reporting party statements, processing aquatic scenes, recovering small submerged evidence, packaging submerged bodies, processing submerged evidence for prints and DNA, and more. This hands-on workshop will provide skill practicals that include optional in-water experiences. Non-swimmers welcome. Bring sunglasses, sun protection, note-taking tools, and if you want to be in the pool, bring a bathing suit.
The Art of Perception: Seeing What Matters
This workshop will give law enforcement and other professionals involved in combating violence against women the necessary tools to enhance perception and communication in both investigation and critical response. While the use of technology in curtailing violence is prevalent, it is human interaction, comprising both inquiry and response, and effective communication that is the foundation of successful crime fighting initiatives and reducing recidivism. Learning to analyze works of art in this interactive workshop will enable attendees to better understanding victims’ perspectives and help to formulate the most effective responses to each incident of violence. Recognition of patterns and the ability to articulate changes in behavior are critical skills in understanding cyclical violence and in the effort to break destructive behavioral patterns. Works of art will also be used to dismantle biases and long held assumptions that can impede both optimal decision making and the fostering of collaborative efforts among law enforcement and social services agencies to curtail violent incidents. 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.
Assessing Law Enforcement’s Response to Sexual Assault: Recommendations from the SAKI Sexual Assault Unit Assessment Program
Kevin Strom, Amy Durall, James Markey
This workshop will provide an in-depth look at the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) Assessments, which evaluate the entire sexual assault investigative process in a jurisdiction. The SAU Assessments involve structured interviews of personnel within a law enforcement agency and with external partners to examine cross-agency collaboration. As a result of the SAU Assessment, agencies are provided with realistic and actionable feedback that can be leveraged to implement effective change and improve investigative strategies for sexual assault response reform. This workshop will cover common themes and practices discovered across agencies that have participated in a SAU Assessment. The presenter will discuss staffing and workload challenges, investigator experience and training, establishing and implementing standards of investigative follow up, report documentation and oversight, and communication and collaboration with internal and external partners.
A-Z Clinical Approaches (Lunch Session)
With so many therapeutic options out there, how do clients know what type of therapy is best for them? The National Center for PTSD recommends EMDR, CPT, and PE as the trauma psychotherapies with the most research support. In addition to those three approaches, the presenter will explore the benefits and limitations of over 20 other interventions and modalities such as DBT, TF-CBT, NMT, and EFT. Attendees will also learn what training is required for best-practice therapies for traumatized adults and children. Counselors and other helping professionals will brainstorm ways to help guide clients in creating a personalized treatment plan as they heal from violence.
Beyond "Pray, Stay, Obey": Understanding & Supporting Christian Domestic Violence Victims
New research indicates that 70.6% of Americans identify as Christian. Nevertheless, abused church women are a largely misunderstood and underserved domestic violence victim population. Few clergy are trained to understand the complexities of domestic violence, address safety concerns, and make appropriate referrals. As a result, they may focus on the relationship rather than abuse, counsel victims and abusers together, approach the abuse as a victim’s “cross to bear”, encourage wifely submission and male headship, forbid divorce, and/or mandate forgiveness. At the same time, victim advocates are typically ill-equipped to understand the very specific spiritual and scriptural challenges and barriers these victims face. The presenter will screen a portion of the award-winning documentary "Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on Domestic Violence" that includes her story of surviving an attempted domestic violence murder, along with her pastor father. Attendees will learn about the dangerous teachings that entrap and endanger victims, gain skills for responding to specific roadblocks victims encounter, and learn tips for educating and supporting Christian victims and survivors. A large variety of faith-specific resources will also be discussed.
Beyond the 911 Call: Achieving Holistic Justice for Domestic Violence Survivors
Carvana Cloud, Julie Pleasant
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 workshop 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.
Black Girlhood, Interrupted: Pornography’s Impact on Sexual Violence in the Lives of Black Girls & Women
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 workshop will feature “Let me tell ya’ll ‘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.
Bringing the Truth to Human Trafficking Investigations: Utilizing Polygraphs
Victor Bibilonisambolin, Jesse De Leon
In this workshop, the Texas Department of Public Safety Polygraph Unit & Criminal Investigations Division will present innovative approaches to human trafficking investigations through the use of polygraphs. The presenters will identify the various applications of polygraphs to initiate and/or further human trafficking investigations with valuable information and actionable intelligence. Attendees will learn how to understand the legal aspects of polygraphs, including the admissibility of information obtained during a polygraph examination in order to help stop, prevent, or deter victimization.
Building a Trauma-Informed Response to Violent Crime in Indian Country
Leslie A. Hagen
The criminal justice system is now paying attention to the effects of trauma on the brain and on memory. The manner in which a crime victim is interviewed can dramatically impact the answers she is able to provide and her willingness to have her case prosecuted. This workshop will address the effects of trauma, from a prosecutor’s perspective, on victims and witnesses. 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. A tribal strangulation case will serve as the backdrop for this workshop and will illustrate what can happen when poor interviewing practices and report writing occur during the course of an investigation.
Can Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Change? Do Batterer Intervention Programs Work?
For years, researchers, battered women and advocates have asked the question, "Can perpetrators of domestic violence change?" and, "Do batterer intervention programs work?" As facilitators of Coordinated Community Responses (CCR) and men's non-violence groups for 20 years, the presenters have been part of a community that has successfully created interventions that give perpetrators of domestic violence the opportunity to make changes. This workshop will explore how Duluth has implemented its model for the last 20 years, including successes and failures, as well as new developments in the field regarding offenders' capacity for change. This workshop will explore the meaning of the term "offender accountability" and discuss the roles of the community, government, and the offenders themselves.
Capturing Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault & Other Drugging Crimes
Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) cases are tough, and most are a blur of limited facts, tough evidence issues, and consent battles. Delays in taking urine samples can be devastating. Documenting exact wording of victim statements made during the forensic exam is critical, as the victim may not recall everything later. DFSA is the most commonly-known drugging crime. However, drugs are also used to facilitate robbery, credit card fraud, kidnapping, and murder. It can happen to unsuspecting men or women of any age. More than 50 drugs have been utilized, providing a wide range of symptoms and duration. The key to proper analysis and investigation is properly recognizing indicators and resulting impairment. This workshop will cover the drugs, how they are delivered, how cases present, and how they impact drugged driving cases where a drugging victim may end up driving.
Caught in the Crossfire: How Children are Impacted by Domestic Violence (Lunch Session)
Jordan Gates, Amber Nealy
In this lunch session, take a look at how domestic violence impacts the family system through a child’s eyes. The presenters will discuss common symptoms that children experience and how a mother’s trauma can impact her relationship with her children. Attendees will be equipped with strategies they can use to help empower this population to overcome and manage the effects of domestic violence on the family system.
Challenges & Solutions for Policing, Prosecution, & Accountability in Rural Communities
This workshop will focus on issues unique to rural communities in dealing with challenges inherent to the investigation, case preparation, prosecution, and post-sentence management of domestic violence cases. The presenter will focus on some of the key legal and logistical issues that make assisting survivors in these jurisdictions challenging. Some areas of discussion will include: the “everyone knows each other” syndrome and how this impacts probable cause determinations; realistic issues with protective orders; ways to encourage retention in isolated offices; effective analysis of security concerns from an unbiased source; less privacy for DV survivors; underreporting; relationships or familiarity with health care providers among law enforcement officials, which may affect victim willingness to discuss violence or limit the extent to which a claim is investigated; finding an affordable lawyer or legal aid; and less familiarity with issues of domestic violence and appropriate responses. The presenter will provide strategies and ideas to overcome these challenges.
Coercion & Consent: A Study of the Social & Legal Implications of #MeToo, Dirty John, & Suicide-by-Text
Amanda Elkanick Oder, Bronwyn Blake
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.
Coercive Control to Violence: A Time Bomb that Kills Women
Barry Goldstein, Carol Midboe, Doreen Sims, Dawn Wilcox
The current approach to assessing risk and prosecuting intimate partner violence is flawed, because it does not address the underlying dynamic in the most dangerous cases: coercive control. This pattern of controlling behavior, including sexual assault and terroristic threats, often accompanies and forecasts physical violence but is dismissed until there are physical injuries. The criminal justice system has taken an episodic approach, with abuse only reaching the level of "crime" when physical violence is “provable”. As a result, the smarter and more dangerous the perpetrator, the more easily he traps his victim without physically assaulting her. This workshop will discuss how dismissing patterns of non-physical abuse and minimizing sexual assault means victims may be trapped for years, even decades, before the hell they are living becomes a prosecutable crime. Without recognizing the pattern of control and providing victims with protection, we are colluding with perpetrators to trap women in relationships that they cannot safely leave.
Collaboration Safety: Effective Safety Planning & Lethality Assessment
Myra Strand, Russell Strand
Safety planning and lethality assessment are important aspects of an advocate’s job. Safety plans should be individualized, holistic, and rooted in empowerment. It is essential that every survivor’s unique plan is tailored to include technology, assessment of lethality, and emotional/psychological safety. This workshop will explore various safety planning models that will help the advocate and victim collaborate on physical, emotional, and psychological safety for all family members impacted by violence. The presenter will also discuss non-clinical lethality assessment tools and human-centric, trauma-informed methods to compassionately discuss such difficult topics. Attendees will learn how to identify and leverage existing client assets in the safety planning and lethality assessment process.
Combating Vicarious Trauma in First Responders Through Effective Leadership
Vicarious trauma (VT) is an inevitable result of long-term work with victims of crime and can detrimentally impact how first responders are able to interact with those they serve. When left unaddressed, VT can lead to devastating consequences for communities, professionals, and crime victims themselves. This workshop will discuss how attentive leadership and basic human capital theories can dramatically improve work environments for first responders. The presenter will explore how poor, and sometimes abusive, leadership impacts staff, increases turnover, contributes to recidivism in the criminal justice system, and potentially lengthens a victim’s time caught the cycle of violence. Attendees will receive tools to assess their work environments, identify self-actualized staff, impact hiring decisions, and turn around toxic workplaces with burnt out staff.
The Cost of Caring: Out of Sight, Never Out of Mind
Erin Faseler, Darrel Turner
For so many of us, "out of sight, out of mind" is an impossibility when it comes to our work. We were meant to do this, but sometimes it feels so overwhelming that it seems the only option is to walk away. Vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue are common for those who work in the criminal justice system because of our frequent contact with victims and abusers. Being exposed to the worst of humanity in our daily professional lives results in lasting effects on all of us. Without managing our secondary trauma, these cases can affect our personal lives, and the desire to do this work can be significantly affected to the point of eventual burnout. This workshop will explore ways in which those involved in abuse cases can implement techniques to help deal with the lasting emotional impact of these cases.
Court Ordered Abuse: Violence & Long-Lasting Trauma of Women Forced to Co-Parent with Their Abuser
Barry Goldstein, Doreen Sims
Recent new 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
Juan Carlos Arean, Brittany Davis
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 workshop will identify national practices that value culture and community, as well as help attendees apply guiding principles to their individual jurisdictions.
Creating Innovative Housing Solutions for Survivors (Lunch Session)
Barbie Brashear, James Gonzalez
This lunch session will describe how a collaborative program with a domestic violence coordinated community response and the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston is addressing unique housing solutions for survivors. This lunch session will introduce what the greater Harris County community is doing and engage the audience in a conversation about other interventions and solutions that are being offered in different communities. The presenter will also discuss gaps and needs for survivors related to housing solutions.
Criminal Interrogation: 2020 & Beyond, Pt. 1 & 2
Michael Krapfl, Jon Turbett
Violent acts against women in the U.S. are often unwitnessed and unreported, drastically decreasing the effective prosecution of cases. Even worse, law enforcement interview and interrogation beliefs, training, and tactics often contribute to more failed prosecutions, further traumatization of victims, and sometimes even false confessions of suspects. This workshop will use several homicide case studies to analyze the flaws of traditional interrogation tactics compared to an evidence-based approach to interrogation. The presenter will also discuss the current legal landscape of interview and interrogation so attendees can maximize every possible legal advantage in 2020 and beyond.
Crossing the Generational Gap: How to Build Rapport & Work with Teenage Clients
Have you ever wondered..."What the heck are they talking about?" or "How do I get them to hear me?" when working with a teenage client? Have you ever struggled to build a trusting alliance with a guarded, angry, distrusting teen? This workshop will discuss practical interventions and techniques for building rapport with teenagers. The presenter will also explore considerations of consent, confidentiality, and reporting requirements, and how to respond to these potential disruptions to your working alliance.
The Cycle of Bullying & Intimate Partner Violence: Impact on Culturally Diverse Populations
Bobby Kipper, Jerald Monahan, Varsha N.
Bullying and intimate partner violence are experienced by diverse cultural populations within the U.S. and around the world. Research indicates that the cycle of violence can be broken through increased awareness and appropriate intervention. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, men who were bullies or the victims of bullying are four times more likely to abuse their partners, and intimate partner violence is directly linked to childhood bullying. This workshop will address the correlation between bullying and IPV and will provide professionals a greater understanding of its impact on culturally-diverse populations. The presenters will discuss the unique perspective of the added barriers to reporting experienced by diverse groups specifically in the context of the power and control and the continued cycle of bullying and IPV. Attendees will learn tools and strategies that are instrumental in preventing and breaking the cycle. The presenters will also review strategies to manage bias and insensitive judgmental behaviors when dealing with individuals who are culturally different.
Differentiated Batterer Intervention Programming for Offenders
Evidence Based Practices (EBP) research indicates when risk levels are contaminated, low risk offenders will become better batterers because they are exposed to higher risk offenders. Franklin County Municipal Court has embraced an EBP model to assess, supervise, and refer to differentiated levels of treatment for the offenders. The FCMC Probation Domestic Violence Unit worked with stakeholders to design and implement a differentiated treatment model for all agencies they contract with. This workshop will focus on the design/implementation of the current model. The presenter will discuss use of risk assessment, the risk levels identified, construct details, and the components of programming for each level of treatment at various agencies.
Disarm Domestic Violence: A Comprehensive Guide to Domestic Violence-Related Firearms Laws (Lunch Session)
Intimate partner homicides have increased in the past few years, driven by an increase in homicides committed by men using firearms. Firearms are also used regularly as a tool of power and control. This lunch session will introduce attendees to Disarm Domestic Violence, a comprehensive, online overview of state laws addressing the intersection between domestic violence and firearms. Disarm Domestic Violence is a powerful tool for survivors seeking safety, advocates and lawyers working with survivors, legislators seeking to improve their states' laws, and other interested parties. The website comprises multiple sections, including an overview of each states' laws governing firearm possession by adjudicated abusers and the removal of firearms therefrom; a how-to guide for survivors and advocates seeking protective orders that will disarm the abuser; and available data about rates of domestic violence, intimate partner homicides, record entries into NICS, and other data.
Disarming Domestic Abusers: Analyzing Current Court Practices
Ruhi Bengali, Jacqui Pitt
Everytown for Gun Safety has conducted extensive research into the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence, including a two-year investigation into how state court judges apply gun prohibition and surrender laws in domestic violence cases and the common gaps in judicial practice that may place survivors at elevated risk. For this project, Everytown analyzed hundreds of case files and in-court observations by volunteer court monitors and identified widespread failures by courts to issue firearm surrender orders, inform parties of firearm prohibition laws, and monitor abusers' compliance with court ordered firearm surrender. Everytown's project leaders will share the lessons of this research, along with best practices and steps that judges, attorneys, law enforcement, and advocates can take to safeguard survivors in the courthouse.
Dissociation in Adult Survivors of Trauma
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 workshop 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 isn't 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.
Domestic Violence High-Risk Team & Protective Orders (Lunch Session)
Lauren Cisneros, Laura Gorman, Julianna Sweeny
Too often there is an unnecessary gap between civil protective orders and the criminal cases that are inevitably connected. This lunch session will provide the processes involved in an Applicant obtaining a protective order, how the orders and criminal cases are flagged high-risk for lethality, and how to use these processes as tools to advance the prosecution of criminal cases. Presented by the lead prosecutor for the Protective Order division, the lead prosecutor of High Risk criminal cases, and the High-Risk counselor from Travis County, this workshop also provides a general overview of the Domestic Violence High-Risk Team Model, the benefits of using this model to properly identify and prosecute high-risk, and how to collaborate across multiple agencies within the community to coordinate Victim safety and successful prosecution.
Effective & Ethical Healthcare Interventions for Patients Experiencing Human Trafficking
This workshop will address interventions that healthcare professionals can apply for the patient who is known or suspected to be experiencing human trafficking. The presenter will go beyond screening and discuss specific care that can be provided in a healthcare setting. While the content is focused on medical professionals identifying and providing interventions, advocates can benefit from getting an in-depth look at what appropriate health care can look like to better support survivors. Law enforcement and prosecutors can bolster their understanding of how documented observations, diagnoses, care provided, and patient responses in the medical record could assist in investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.
Effective Report Writing in Gender Based Violence Cases
Gender-based and family violence crimes are pattern crimes that require careful documentation. This workshop will examine how police, medical, and other official reports have the potential to make or break a case and either empower or re-victimize. The presenter will explore descriptive language and share tools for writing clear, complete, and accurate narratives.
Ending the Backlog: Development & Implementation of a Statewide Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System
Following a national awakening to the issue of untested sexual assault kits throughout the country, Indiana developed its own unique sexual assault kit tracking system. This workshop will describe the process followed by a multidisciplinary team entrusted to complete this task. The presenters will emphasize the importance of the multidisciplinary effort and working with the legislature in a proactive, effective manner. The presenters will also describe the chain of events leading to the creation and implementation of the tracking system, including legislative study sessions and subsequently enacted laws, audits conducted to analyze the scope of the problem, working with a vendor to create the software, and eventual implementation of the system. The team will be candid in describing both the successes and obstacles encountered in the process.
Ending The Game: Understanding Psychological Coercion in Commercial Sexual Exploitation & Exploring One Promising Solution
Emily Hollerbach, Rachel Thomas
Over the last decade, thousands of domestic sex trafficking victims have been identified and offered services. Though there is little evidence-based research on the mental health treatment of victims of human trafficking, one disturbing trend cannot be ignored: victims oftentimes exhibit strong attachments to their trafficker and/or the lifestyle of commercial sexual exploitation. This workshop will highlight a survivor-written coercion-resiliency curriculum that is being utilized in dozens of victim-serving facilities in 23 states with extremely promising results in addressing and minimizing the effects of psychological coercion in trafficking. This workshop is recommended for clinicians, survivor-leaders, and all professionals working with victims of commercial sexual exploitation in any capacity.
Enhancing the Court Process for Domestic Violence Litigants
Kate Wurmfeld, Kim Piechowiak
Through this highly interactive, hands-on workshop, court administrators, court managers, clerks of court, and other non-judicial court leaders will be introduced to the tools needed to enhance their court’s processes and response in the complex and challenging cases that involve domestic violence. This workshop is designed to benefit court staff in front-line, customer-facing roles and those with administrative/management roles. Participants who cannot themselves change policies and procedures should be encouraged to bring back ideas and information to management. These court leaders will return to their courts and communities with a greater ability to identify litigants involved in domestic violence cases and enhance the ways in which these litigants may interface with their courts. Attendees will also leave with a stronger sense of their roles and leadership potential within their courts to ensure safer and more effective processing of domestic violence cases.
Expert Witness Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases
Meriel Lester, Julie Owens, Melissa Scaia
Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and family court attorneys ask experts to testify when they believe the court needs more information to better understand the decisions that victims of domestic violence make. Not every case requires an expert, but sometimes, without expert testimony, the court and jurors may not be able to accurately evaluate the evidence they hear because of common and widely held misconceptions about domestic violence. This workshop will be based on the experiences of testifying and utilizing experts in actual cases. This presenter will provide a foundation and advanced understanding of the many aspects of working as an expert witness, including benefits and drawbacks to advocates as expert witnesses, legal settings and issues, and testifying on behalf of victim of battering charged with crimes.
Exposing What’s Concealed: Leveraging Existing Federal 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 disturbance-related law enforcement officer homicides from 1996 to 2010 were committed with a firearm. This workshop 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. Information on sending referrals to the BATF and working joint pro-active investigations will be discussed.
Finding Hope in the Courthouse: Nashville’s Court-Based Family Justice Center
The Jean Crowe Advocacy Center (JCAC) is a unique resource that provides a Family Justice Center model within one of the most unwelcoming places for a victim of crime: the courthouse. The JCAC was developed in response to Nashville’s Safety & Accountability Audit that found multiple safety concerns in the courthouse and throughout the criminal justice system. The JCAC provides a services and support in a safe and secure location for clients who are waiting for court. This workshop will look at this distinctive model that provides innovative advocacy services for clients, as well as partner connections with the District Attorney's office and non-profits while improving victim safety and ensuring offender accountability.
First Line Supervisors’ Response to Violence Against Women
Supervisors are responsible for creating and maintaining an environment that supports learning and growth for officers and treats victims with respect. This workshop will highlight effective ways to engage the first responder in order to address violence against women. Attendees will be exposed to methods of empowering and strengthening officers, innovative employee incentives and rewards, and other motivating techniques, as well as skills to mentor others on violence against women crimes.
Forensic Evaluation of Gunshot Wounds: Applications for Domestic & Officer-Involved Shootings, Pt. 1 & 2
Medical and scientific literature has repeatedly documented that the non-forensic healthcare provider has a miserable ability to correctly interpret gunshot wounds. The "Interpretation of Fatal, Multiple, and Exiting Gunshot Wounds by Trauma Specialists" found that clinical physicians have a great deal of difficulty in correctly distinguishing between entrance and exit wounds. What are the reasons for these misinterpretations? Their opinions were based upon the size of the wound, not its physical characteristics. Physical characteristics will tell you if the wound is an entrance or exit, the range of fire, and if the injuries are consistent with the history given by the victim. To avoid the misinterpretation and therefore the misdiagnosis of gunshot wounds, police, nurses, physicians, and prosecutors need additional forensic training. The knowledge gained in this workshop will assist attendees in evaluation, diagnosis, investigation, and prosecution of gunshot wounds, including domestic and officer-involved shootings.
From Voir Dire to Verdict: Strategic Prosecution of Strangulation-Related Crimes
Kelsey McKay, Carvana Cloud
Laws being passed nationally recognize the danger and lethality of perpetrators who strangle their victims. While these statutes give prosecutors the ability to hold offenders more accountable, they are often stifled by a misunderstanding of the evidence. This workshop will explore how to strategically prosecute strangulation offenders by providing tips on jury selection and trial approaches. The presenter will discuss how to recruit and develop medical experts to help juries understand this complicated crime, the overlap with sex crimes, and the effectiveness of prosecuting this offense with a trauma-informed perspective. Finally, this workshop will discuss how to overcome common defenses such as lack of external visible injury, rough sex, and "if she could talk she could breathe."
Full Faith & Credit
This workshop will cover the issuance and enforcement of protection orders, focusing on interjurisdictional enforcement. The presenter will discuss federal law pertaining to protection orders and how it relates to state law. This workshop will allow attendees to identify different types of protection orders and how they work across state, tribal, and territorial boundaries. By providing a review of the Full Faith and Credit provision of the Violence Against Women Act, allied professionals can improve survivor safety and offender accountability.
Full Faith & Credit: Test Your Knowledge! (Lunch Session)
Test your knowledge on protection orders and their enforcement in the fast-paced, interactive lunch session. Do you have what it takes? Work in teams to answer clues on protection orders, law, and other trivia in teams during the lunch hour.
Funding Opportunities Through the Office for Victims of Crime (Lunch Session)
Join representatives from the Office for Victims of Crime in an engaging lunch discussion to learn about different funding opportunities through the OVC to support programs serving victims of all crime, including trafficking, elder abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, mass violence and terrorism, and fraud. Attendees will learn how to access the more than $3 billion in funding that Congress has authorized OVC to expend on victim service programming over the last several years. Specifically, the presenters will discuss VOCA formula funding that is distributed to and accessible through the states, trafficking funding, tribal funding, and discretionary program funding that is directly awarded from OVC to grantees to support a range of victim service programs.
Holding the Framework: Working with Survivors of Multi-Abuse Trauma
There are few things more polarizing in social services than what approach to use when you’re working with a survivor who also has lived experience with mental health issues or substance use. Survivors of multi-abuse trauma are often interacting with providers in multiple fields who all have their own distinct ways of providing services. It can be confusing, frustrating, and discouraging to hear these different messages, often in direct opposition to each other, about the best ways to heal and move forward. This workshop will discuss the connections between gender-based violence, mental health, and substance use, how we can better work together to support survivors of multi-abuse trauma, and how vicarious trauma moves us away from connection.
How Domestic Violence Fatality Review Impacts & Informs Practice
Joanne Belknap, Jenn Doe
For decades, research from the Denver Metro Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DMDFRT) has identified risk factors and red flags present in deaths that occurred in the context of domestic violence in Colorado. This multidisciplinary team works collaboratively to identify potential gaps in services and implement strategies to help prevent future domestic violence-related deaths, without placing blame or pointing fingers. In 2017, a new Colorado law resulted in the creation of a statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board (DVFRB) and the formation of additional Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams (DVFRT) across the state. DMDVFRT staff have been consulting with the Colorado Office of the Attorney General to support the work of the Colorado DVFRB and offer technical assistance to communities interested in forming DVFRTs. This workshop will review local, state, and national research related to domestic violence fatality review, introduce attendees to the purpose and process of a DVFRT, and discuss strategies for forming a DVFRT and reviewing cases involving domestic violence-related fatalities.
How Not to Lose an SVU case
In this fast-paced workshop, the presenter will share her wisdom and experience in handling more than 3,000 SVU cases in her 30-year career as an SVU prosecutor. She will walk through each stage of the criminal justice system in a guided discussion with attendees. Common challenges in sexual assault and domestic violence cases will be discussed, as well as solutions to eliminate these obstacles. The presenter will uncover the best practices standards for district attorneys, with an emphasis on proactive pretrial action by investigators and prosecutors. The focus will be on real case scenarios and research on persuading jurors. Methods for avoiding common pitfalls and making impactful presentations will be discussed. Court recordings of a real trial will be analyzed and critiqued.
How to Seize Smartphones & Preserve Data (Lunch Session)
Everyone has encountered smartphones in their realm of support. Whether you are guiding someone on how to collect and preserve the data or doing the collection yourself, this lunch session will greatly increase the odds of getting the data/information you need from these devices. Attendees will learn how to ensure maximum data extraction from smartphones and gain insight into various encryption obstacles, as well as how to combat them and preserve smartphone data.
Identifying & Preventing Bias: Through the Lens of Diverse Populations & Law Enforcement
Jerald Monahan, Varsha N.
This workshop will explore stereotypes and assumptions that are made not only about victims of crime, but law enforcement as well. These biases often serve as barriers in communication and impact the effectiveness of services provided. Understanding how bias affects our decision-making can increase the effectiveness of law enforcement’s services on diverse populations, including Limited English Proficient individuals and immigrants. The presenters will discuss cases such as Larry Nassar, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, and Jeffrey Epstein to highlight specific examples of positive and negative bias. Attendees will leave with new resources and strategies to overcome biases and improve communication.
I Just Can't Think Straight: Partner Inflicted Brain Injury, Domestic Violence, & a Way Forward
It is well-known 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 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.
Implementing a Holistic Approach: What Clients Gained When We Evolved Into a Wrap-Around Agency
Krista Fultz, Ruth Guerreiro, Jordyn Lawson, Amber Nealy
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs guides us in a holistic approach as we focus on a client's outside world (legal, housing, child care) as well as her inside world (thoughts, feelings, and body sensations). In this workshop, the presenters will explore how the domestic violence movement has impacted client services. They will use Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support as a case study to examine how an agency can overcome barriers in its quest to advance client services using cutting-edge practices in a trauma-informed corporate culture. Attendees will leave with a trauma-informed model of how training, protocols, treatment planning, and programming structure can help create unity among various teams, which lends to more efficient client services.
Indigenous Victims of Trafficking in North America
Foreign and indigenous victims in the U.S. are underserved and many times a misunderstood population. There is a big gap in 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 workshop will discuss incorporating culture into a victim-centered approach to working with indigenous trafficking survivors from Mexico and U.S. and share helpful resources for working with survivors from these communities.
*INTERACTIVE* In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence Below the Poverty Line
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
In Her Shoes: Economic Justice is a simulation experience designed for attendees to experience firsthand the hurdles and roadblocks that a survivor of domestic violence faces in her life and how those barriers are compounded by economic difficulties. A powerful community education tool, this was developed in 2000 by the Washington Coalition on Domestic Violence. Participants will build empathy and understanding for the realities that a survivor faces in trying to live a life free from violence and abuse.
*INTERACTIVE* In Her Shoes: Living with Teen Dating Violence
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
In Her Shoes: Teen Dating Violence is a simulation experience designed for attendees to experience firsthand the hurdles and roadblocks that teen survivor of domestic and dating violence face. A powerful community education tool, this workshop was developed in 2000 by the Washington Coalition on Domestic Violence. Participants will build empathy and understanding for the realities that teen survivors face in trying to live a life free from violence and abuse.
Innovative Civil & Criminal Partnerships: The Safe Families Program
Mary Beth Kent-Duffy, Melanie MacBride
Illinois Law allows complaining witnesses in domestic violence cases to obtain comprehensive orders of protection in conjunction with criminal prosecutions. For complaining witnesses who have children in common with their abuser, relief can include child support, allocation of decision making responsibility, possession of children, and a specific, and potentially restricted, visitation schedule. Access to these remedies provides stability, increasing the odds that victims will be able to maintain separation from their abuser. In 2017, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office partnered with Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services (LAS) to ensure that complaining witnesses with children in common with their abuser could receive high-quality direct representation on child related legal remedies. The program they created, the Safe Families Program (SFP), has Assistant State's Attorney's prosecuting in tandem with LAS attorneys who are providing direct representation to victims. Both the criminal prosecution and the "civil" legal remedies are heard in conjunction in criminal courtrooms. The results of the program have been significant. Not only are victims leaving with comprehensive, nuanced orders of protection that protect them and their children, SFP has also increased the rate in which complaining witnesses continue to participate in criminal cases to their conclusion, an ongoing challenge in domestic violence prosecutions.
Intimate Partner Violence & Child Abuse in Custody Cases: Challenging the Family Courts
Peggy Wright, Kellen McManus
The journey to healing after experiencing intimate partner violence or sexual assault is and fraught with many obstacles. Being the protective parent of a child who has been physically or sexually abused can be equally traumatic and difficult, as the parent is often met with institutional bias in the family court system simply for trying to protect the child. This workshop will discuss the increasing commonality for abusers to claim “parental alienation” when faced with allegations of abuse during a custody battle. Many family law attorneys, amicus attorneys, court evaluators, and judges accept the construct of parental alienation and the accompanying recommendation of family reunification programs without question. The resulting outcome is frequently detrimental to the protective parents (often the mothers) and can even be lethal to the children. Because protective parents are often denied the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence during the custody case and are prohibited through court orders to speak publicly about their experience, their voices are rarely heard. This workshop will help attendees feel confident to advocate for protective parents, both in and out of the courtroom.
Investigating & Prosecuting Violent Crime in Tribal Communities: Working with Victims in Current & Cold Cases, Pt. 1 & 2
Betsi Griffith, Leslie Hagen, James Markey, Michelle Rivard Parks
This workshop will focus on the investigation and prosecution of serious violent crimes by tribes working with their federal and state partners, as well as strategies for cold case investigations and working with victims. The presenters will highlight current projects and resources at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to expand the prosecution of serious and violent crimes involving Native Americans and Alaska Natives. This workshop will summarize what BJA is learning about what tribal courts and systems need to consider when handling these cases and discuss core prosecution strategies. The second part of the workshop will highlight efforts of BJA’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which has helped solve many cold case sexual assaults, murders, and related violent crimes. The presenters will provide information on strategies to work cold case investigations and review what has been learned about serial, violent offenders and implications for tribal justice systems. This workshop will also offer in-depth training and discussion on reporting of cases and victim cooperation and strategies that are both trauma-informed and victim-oriented.
Investigating Strangulation & Suffocation Crimes
Kelsey McKay, Kim Orts
Felony statutes recognizing the lethality and seriousness of strangulation assaults have been passed in the majority of states. Stiffer laws recognize the gravity of this form of violence and its ability to predict future homicides, both for domestic violence victims and police officers. However, the criminal justice system has failed to implement necessary protocols or training to provide police officers guidance to investigate and collect the unique evidence necessary to hold these violent offenders accountable. As a result, many cases are rejected for prosecution and law enforcement is left without guidance. Attendees will learn to overcome common challenges strangulation presents, including lack of external injury, lack of victim, and missed and misunderstood evidence. This workshop will walk police and first responders through the implementation of the Strangulation Supplement and provide tips on how to conduct a quality strangulation investigation.
Jennifer, 42: The Case of Jennifer Magnano
Laura Richards, Elle Kamihira, Jessica Magnano
After fifteen years of escalating abuse, Jennifer Magnano finds the courage to escape her husband’s brutality and coercive control. She pulls off a brave escape and gets herself and her three children to safety. From there, she does everything she is supposed to do and everything she is told to do, yet she ends up dead—murdered in front of her children on the front steps of her home. Through the production of “Jennifer, 42”—a first-of-its-kind, animated true-crime documentary—the presenters forensically deconstructed and re-investigated the shocking course of events that made Jennifer a sitting duck for her homicidal husband. In this workshop, the presenters, including Jennifer’s daughter, will present clips of the forthcoming documentary and examine the influence of coercive control and other risk factors on not only Jennifer’s case, but the countless others like hers.
The Judicial Language Project: Using Research to Persuade Media & Courts to Avoid Harmful Language
This workshop will provide research-based examples of how the language used to describe violence against women can contribute to the harm women endure in society. Problems such as dual subject, needless eroticism, active/passive voice, and vagueness can cause readers and listeners to perceive violence as harmless or even enjoyable. The presenter will show examples of problematic language and offer more appropriate alternatives. The presenter developed this program as a first-of-its-kind project in 2004 and has since trained journalists and court officials around the country to better understand the power of language, the importance of using and avoiding certain terminology, and how language can help prevent or contribute to the added harm victims experience in the aftermath of violence.
Labor Trafficking in the U.S. & Successful Local Investigations
Rochelle Keyhan, Joseph Scaramucci
In this workshop, attendees will hear from national experts about the various types of labor trafficking happening across the U.S. The presenters will also discuss case studies of successful local investigations of family-based labor trafficking, hospitality industry labor trafficking, and restaurant-based labor trafficking. Attendees will learn how to detect and gather evidence in various types of labor trafficking cases.
Leading with Heart: Trauma-Informed Supervision
Rita Flores, Rachel Voth Schrag, Molly Voyles, Leila Wood
Every day, victim advocates stand with survivors of intimate partner violence as they share their experiences of trauma, abuse, and strength. Supporting survivors on their journey can impact advocates and result in vicarious trauma, stress, and compassion fatigue. This workshop will focus on how supervisors can create spaces to support advocate wellness and prevent the development of compassion fatigue, through trauma-informed supervision. Attendees will walk away with tools to engage with staff and create environments that support work and wellness.
Military Sexual Trauma
One of the most complicated forms of trauma that a person can experience is Military Sexual Trauma (MST). MST is broadly defined and very common, but its consequences are highly damaging, including not only PTSD, but also depression, eating disorders, homelessness, and suicidality. Moreover, it often ends military careers abruptly. This workshop will discuss the definition of MST, its prevalence, the context in which it occurs, and its effects. The presenter will address the multiple forms of betrayal that are involved and the differences between MST as experienced by women and men, as well as discuss treatment of MST and how survivors can heal from it.
Monitoring Transactions: How Financial Institutions Identify & Report Human Trafficking (Lunch Session)
This lunch session will examine the role financial institutions play in identifying and reporting potential human trafficking to law enforcement. The presenter will provide an overview of the regulatory mandate that financial institutions have to report suspicious account activity, which includes a brief description on the laws and regulations that govern financial institutions. The presenter will also highlight the transactional red flags that financial institutions consider when monitoring for potential human trafficking. Finally, attendees will learn the reporting process that financial institutions follow to alert law enforcement of suspicious account activity that may involve human trafficking.
The Most Dangerous Power of the Prosecutor: Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases
The enormous exercise of power involved in a prosecutor's charging decision was described by Justice Robert H. Jackson as "the most dangerous power of the prosecutor". How is this power wielded when it comes to sexual assault cases? The guidelines on prosecutorial discretion in charging are minimal. Prosecutors rely on a combination of legally relevant and irrelevant variables in determining whether to bring charges. The standard often cited by prosecutors is "would a jury in my jurisdiction convict?" This standard often leads to charging decisions that are led by gender bias and stereotypes. Should prosecutors challenge sexual assault stereotypes by filing charges, even if the jury is likely to acquit? Is a new charging standard emerging from investigations into gender bias? Attendees will be better able to identify standards for charging that eliminate gender bias. Attendees will also learn trauma-informed practices to help obtain convictions in tough cases.
“No Face, No Case”: Responding to Witness Intimidation in Domestic Violence Cases
Heidi Bonner, John Guard
Witness intimidation in cases of intimate partner violence is a significant problem, and research suggests that as many as 80% of cases that reach court involve victims that recant or refuse to testify. Successful prosecution is also hampered by the constraints imposed by the Crawford v. Washington decision. Offenders have a firm understanding of these constraints and leverage witness intimidation to secure a dismissal. Even the most dedicated professionals cannot effectively address the problem of witness intimidation unless they know the specifics of how it occurs, how to investigate it, and how to respond in a way that protects the witness while holding the offender accountable for both the original crime and for the efforts to obstruct justice. Using several examples of recorded audio and written letters, Attendees will witness strategies offenders use to compel victims to recant or fail to appear in court. Attendees will see how easily the offender’s “Private Face” can be exposed and how their actions can be leveraged in an IPV criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution.
Not One More: Unique Perspectives on Domestic Violence Homicide
Christie Brungardt, Kelsey McKay, Julie Owens, Neil Schori, Dawn Wilcox
Half of all murdered women are killed by intimate partners, with four murdered in the U.S. daily. A diverse panel of national experts in criminal prosecution/strangulation, victim advocacy, faith-based counseling, homicide data collection, prevention efforts in school and colleges, and offender intervention will explore this complex topic, sharing unique experiences and lessons learned. Survivor/nurse researcher Dawn Wilcox will discuss her new, comprehensive comparative database of U.S. females murdered by men. Former prosecutor/consultant trainer/expert witness Kelsey McKay will discuss the relationship of strangulation and asphyxiation to homicide. Professor Dr. Christie Brungardt will discuss surviving her daughter’s murder and the national prevention organization for educational institutions that she and her husband subsequently co-founded. Pastoral counselor Neil Schori will share how, before disappearing, Stacy Peterson confided to him that her husband Drew had murdered his previous wife, and his experience testifying at the murder trial. Attempted murder survivor/consultant/expert witness Julie Owens will offer survivor insights and discuss dangerousness assessment, survivor-centered advocacy, and how to support survivors of homicide victims.
The Nuts & Bolts of the Community Advocacy Program
Shelley Reader, Amanda Wilson
This workshop will illustrate how using the Community Advocacy Program (CAP) can help promote self-sufficiency within survivors of domestic violence. Research has shown that long-term advocacy is more effective than short-term emergency shelter and results in positive outcomes. In 2016, the Crisis Center in Littleton, CO implemented the CAP program after realizing that survivors in their community desired services outside of the traditional shelter model. The presenters will provide information about what a community-based advocacy program looks like, how to implement one, and some of their own struggles during implementation. Since the Crisis Center has implemented the CAP, they have seen an increase in both positive client outcomes and staff satisfaction.
Online Batterer Intervention Programs: Yes or No? (Lunch Session)
Batterers Intervention Programs (BIPs) have been provided in the U.S. for nearly 40 years and have been researched extensively in recent years. However, the research differs on their effectiveness. One aspect of BIP program design that has largely not been addressed is access and availability. The presenter will discuss how, in some regions of the U.S., the closest BIP is over a two-hour drive one way. For some men who do not have transportation, or have a revoked driver's license, there is no way for them to access a BIP. This lunch session will explore the benefits and disadvantages of online batterer intervention programs and will examine their effectiveness in relation to their in-person counterparts.
The Petechial Hemorrhage Court Challenge: Are You Ready?
The pathophysiology and forensic science of petechial hemorrhage development can be difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain to a jury. This workshop will go deep into the science, medicine, and physiology of petechial hemorrhages in an effort to assist your role as an expert witness or strangulation prosecutor. Attendees will be given the confidence to explain how petechial hemorrhages are created, dispel the myths, explain how someone can be fatally or non-fatally strangled and have no petechial hemorrhages and discuss how blood flows into and out of the head and neck. More than 50 common courtroom questions related to petechial hemorrhages will be answered by the presenter. Attendees will also be provided with the latest medical and forensic references needed to support the scientific basis for their opinions.
Preventing Murder in Slow Motion: Identifying, Assessing & Managing Risk
Femicide is at an all-time high. In the US, four women are murdered each day by a current or former partner. Our current approach is not working. These murders do not come out of the blue, and the wrong questions continue to be asked of victims by professionals, family, friends, work colleagues, and the media. The DASH Risk Identification, Assessment, and Management Model is used widely in the UK and is informed by multi-agency analysis of domestic homicides, near misses, and one year of domestic abuse allegations reported to the Metropolitan Police Service. Attendees will learn about coercive control behaviors, high risk clusters, why motivation is vitally important to understand along with the timeline, and why we should move away from an incident-based response and violence model to one that focuses on risk factors and symptoms of coercive control.
Prison Warden by Day, Prisoner at Night: Experiencing Domestic Violence as an Army LTC Military Officer
The Army uniform, military police insignia, and LTC rank on her collar provided Sue Parisher the strength she needed to run the Army's prison in Germany back in 2001. The uniform hid her insecurities, lack of self-worth, and anxiety due to years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by her military officer spouse. Sharing personal accounts of her abuse while on active duty, the presenter provides a common but not often discussed journey of how a person with significant authority can become victim to horrors that occur behind closed doors. The presenter will explain how the military environment impacted her ability to say no, as well as how it strengthened the ability of her abuser to control her silence. The presenter will share how after leaving her abuser, she slowly started realizing the thoughts in her mind were not her own, and how the long-term emotional abuse reshaped the way she thought and acted years after being away from her abuser.
Program Development for Survivors of Sex Trafficking & Commercial Sexual Exploitation
There are key considerations to account for when providing programming to adult survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Women seeking services due to their experiences often have a background of extensive child abuse, a significant history with domestic violence and substance abuse, often lack high levels of formal education, and are looking to move into conventional employment while having a criminal record due to their experiences in the sex industry. The combination of these factors can create unique challenges to account for and address within the development of effective programming structure and content that will allow women to be successful, make meaningful progress, and ultimately achieve the life and goals they choose for themselves.
Project 180: The New Way to Investigate & File on Traffickers While Diverting Prostitution Sellers
Carla Manuel, Johna Stallings
In Harris County, Texas, a team of prosecutors, analysts,a social worker, 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 workshop, 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 presenter will provide statistics to show how and why this method works and how it will become the new standard in sex trafficking investigations.
Public Trust: Confronting Law Enforcement Sexual Misconduct in the #MeToo Era
Through an examination of case studies, after-action reviews, and the emerging national demand for increased accountability for all forms of sexual misconduct, this workshop will encourage courageous conversations and inspire proactive leadership strategies to address and prevent law enforcement sexual misconduct. The overwhelming majority of those who serve in law enforcement are professionals that uphold their oath of office. However, the numerous headlines, arrests, convictions, and lawsuits describing horrific acts of sexual misconduct perpetrated by law enforcement officers are incomprehensible. The prevalence of law enforcement sexual misconduct and its impact on public trust cannot be ignored. A predatory sexual offender with the power and authority of the police is an extremely serious breach of the ethics of law enforcement, a violation of the color of law, and a traumatizing victimization for a citizen that officers are sworn to protect. This workshop will identify practices for prevention, supervision, and accountability in law enforcement in order to combat these crimes and enhance public trust.
Putting the Pieces Together: A Guide to Survivor Privacy & Confidentiality Rights In Texas
Molly Voyles, Alexandra Cantrell, Maricarmen Garza
Supporting survivor safety often goes hand-in-hand with confidentiality and privacy of information. This means navigating a myriad of state and federal laws that support survivors of domestic and sexual violence and knowing when each law applies. This workshop will offer an overview of Texas and federal laws and how they intersect. The presenters will discuss differences between privacy, confidentiality, and privilege, as well as how and when each of these protections apply. Attendees will discuss ways to support survivors so they can make informed choices about how to use these privacy protections to best navigate safety.
Reaching Victims of Crime with Limited English Proficiency
Paula Gomez Stordy
Language access is an integral part of emergency response and access to life-saving services and interventions. Meaningful language access helps overcome barriers to communication and is key for successful investigations. This workshop will discuss how to improve culturally-relevant language access for survivors and build trust in communities. The presenter will also examine the legal and ethical mandates to ensure meaningful language access.
*INTERACTIVE* Review Your Cases with a Technology Expert
Bring your active or recent cases and have the opportunity to discuss the case with an experienced police detective who has also been qualified as an expert in digital forensics. This session is designed to help advocates and service providers identify areas survivors may be able to reduce their risk or exposure; survivor-based considerations on how to preserve evidence if they should decide to involve the legal system in the future; where that evidence may reside; physical security considerations for their homes, work, travel; and important considerations advocates/service providers need to consider for their own protection and safety.
Screening In: Exploring Evidence-Based, Practical Strategies for Identifying & Responding to Trafficking
Sara Gilmer, Carolyn Kim
The Dept. of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) manages the largest amount of federal funding dedicated to direct services for trafficking survivors, and OVC grantees provide a broad range of services to thousands of human trafficking victims each year. In order to deliver these services, organizations must be able to first effectively identify human trafficking victimization in the first place, moving beyond red flags and stereotypes. OVC’s human trafficking team lead will moderate this panel and will provide an overview of validated screening tools related to human trafficking. The presenters will discuss policies and procedures needed to implement trauma-informed screening processes and resources that may benefit an organization’s approach to screening potential victims of trafficking. The workshop will discuss lessons learned from a broad range of actors in the anti-trafficking field on how to support program staff and partner organizations in screening for all forms of human trafficking and referring identified victims for comprehensive services.
Sex, Strangulation, & Serial Killers, Pt. 1 & 2
Kelsey McKay, Julie Germann
Perpetrators’ torturous use of sexual violence and strangulation identifies the most depraved offenders. From the BTK Killer, Ted Bundy, and the Boston Strangler to more recent serial killers like Darren Vann, Reginald Kimbro, and Sam Little, all have commonalities: sexual assault, strangulation, and a predictable history. Research reflects that the true motive in over half of strangulation homicides is sexual assault. Not understanding the juncture between strangulation and sexual consent allows for ultimate victim blaming in both homicides and non-fatal assaults. Overlooking these offenders only allows their violent deviancy to increase to serial assault and murder. With training to identify these offenders, properly collect evidence, and strategically charge and prosecute, communities can elevate their role in holding these offenders accountable. This workshop will provide practical tools that the criminal justice community can implement to improve accountability for the most lethal offenders.
The Shadow of Death: I Fear No Evil, Except the One Who "Loves" Me
This workshop will examine intimate partner-related targeted violence, including murder/suicide and familicide, as well as what precipitates these events both behaviorally and in terms of target location, etc. The presenter will not only address emotional and psychological abuse patterns and correlates of perpetrators, but will also discuss the numerous danger and risk assessments being offered across the world and their pros and cons for efficacy. This workshop will explore the repetitive and predatory nature of the violence and the perpetrators themselves to answer how society assists in creating violent people who target those they are supposed to love, which will help address the problem more effectively in threat assessment and management investigations. As part of that exploration, attendees will go deeper into the potential correlation of Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (ACES) Scores and childhood trauma as it relates to domestic violence for the purpose of possible predictive indicators.
Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T): A Global Initiative that Saves Lives
68% percent of American homes have a pet. As such, families seeking shelter often have a pet, and domestic violence professionals are increasingly being asked for pet housing resources. When a shelter is unable to welcome families with pets, this creates a barrier to safety and can impact ongoing investigation and prosecution. Research has shown that up to 65% of women will delay going to a shelter because of concerns about their pets, and women in shelters are nearly 11 times more likely to report their partner hurt or killed their pet. The SAF-T Program and SAF-T Start-Up Guide was created in 2008 to help shelters through the process of creating on-site pet housing so that more lives are saved. Attendees will learn the research supporting why housing pets reduces a barrier to safety, how the human-animal bond can help families with pets with the recovery process, how SAF-T helps with investigation and prosecution follow-thru for victims, four different SAF-T housing models, how to receive sustainable financial support, and how to overcome common concerns.
Spyware/Monitoring Software: An Overview of Capabilities & Simple Steps for Finding It
We all have heard the concerns around spyware existing in someone’s smartphone. This workshop will educate attendees on what spyware can and cannot do, certain conditions that must exist for specific software to function, and what can be done to stop it. Attendees will be shown simple steps that can be performed with the smartphone in question that may give insight to whether specific spyware is present or not. This is NOT a forensics class, but is intended to help non-technical professionals address these common concerns shared by too many survivors.
Staged Death Scenes: Would You Recognize One if You Stepped in It? Pt. 1 & 2
**ARRIVE EARLY: Mock crime scene will be available at 7:30am for attendees to walk through.** First responders, specifically police officers, death investigators, firefighters, and EMS professionals, have a unique opportunity to recognize, or miss, the clues of a staged crime scene. They also have the ability to contaminate, destroy, overlook, or preserve critical evidence and statements, which will tell the real story about what happened. This workshop will examine and analyze multiple actual death/crime scenes and the forensic science behind the opinions. The presenter will test your abilities to differentiate fact from fiction. Will justice be served or will someone get away with murder?
Strangulation Chronicles: Why Abusers Strangle Their Intimate Partners
This workshop is based, in part, on conversations with dozens of abusers who acknowledged strangling their intimate partners. A content analysis of their responses suggested that abusers have a variety of objectives in mind, including gaining sexual access, ensuring compliance, and silencing the victim. The presenter will highlight and offer an explanation of the deadly connection between strangulation and rape that is often overlooked while conducting lethality assessments. A videotaped interview with a man who strangled his wife to death will be analyzed to provide insights into the minds of those who use strangulation. This workshop will help inform safety planning strategies for victim advocates as well as engagement strategies for batterer intervention providers.
Strategies for Success & Sustainability of Your Domestic Violence High Risk Team
The Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model is an innovative model to prevent domestic violence homicides. In addition to its primary function of homicide prevention, one of the critical functions of a DVHRT is to continuously audit the domestic violence response system to identify and close systemic gaps. Equally important to successfully implementing a team is the ability to maintain its effectiveness and sustainability over time. This workshop is designed for members of DVHRTs or other domestic violence multidisciplinary teams that are in the process of implementing or have already implemented. The presenter will review the critical systems audit function that DVHRTs serve and provide examples of how DVHRTs have identified and helped to close systems gaps. This workshop will also explore tools and strategies DVHRTs can use for successful team operations and sustainability. Strategies will include tips for conducting an annual assessment of team membership and leadership, tips for conducting an annual team meeting, the importance of renewing commitment to data collection and analysis, onboarding new team members, and strategies for conducting a critical case debrief.
Survivor Advocates: A Key to the Multidisciplinary Team
Working with survivor advocates can be complicated. Professionals and allies must develop a toolkit when working alongside survivor advocates as essential and critical members of the multidisciplinary team. Additionally, the team should view survivors as professionals who are valuable member of every team. Oftentimes in a critical stage of deciding whether they can accept help or not, the individual will connect and respond to a survivor advocate, someone who has been where they are, and can respond to their needs and concerns. As a result of this workshop, attendees will be able to identify tools to use with survivor advocates that will assist them in the field. Attendees will also learn best practices to use with survivor advocates to best serve those we are assisting. Case studies will be used to illustrate learning points.
Taking Guns from Domestic Violence Offenders & Keeping Them Away
David Keck, Jennifer Waindle
This workshop will provide an overview of firearm surrender protocols that have been implemented in various settings across the country. There are three types of protocols: court-centered, law enforcement-centered, and probation-centered. This workshop will explore the strengths of probation-centered firearm surrender protocols, especially in collaboration with the legal system overall. It is intended to address law enforcement, the judiciary, domestic violence advocates, prosecutors, defense counsel, and probation officers through civil and criminal justice protocols. In addition to statistical research, the presenters will explore the practical application of surrender protocols and tips on implementing firearm surrender protocols in various communities.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Attorneys & Case Managers Working Together for Immigration Clients
This workshop will highlight the benefits of creating inter- and intradisciplinary collaborations between case managers/advocates and attorneys when working on immigration cases. At Mosaic Family Services, the advocate, attorney, and client work closely together to guide the client through the process of obtaining necessary evidence and preparing their personal statement. Additionally, advocates provide practical support to the client while they face ever-increasing wait times for a decision on their immigration application. The presenters will provide practical tips for obtaining supporting evidence for a client's immigration case and working with service providers to guide clients through the immigration process.
Think Like There is No Box: The Scope of Forensic Nursing
Many practitioners view forensic examinations as only a simple directional guide for sexual assaults, but there is much more to the exam and how the examiner can be utilized. When agencies begin utilizing forensic nurses for other victims of crime including strangulation, domestic violence, child abuse, gun shots, and stabbings, the benefits to the patient are immeasurable. This workshop will walk through the exam step-by-step and discuss best practices for evidence collection in various cases, as well as guide law enforcement and prosecutors through ways to better utilize forensic nurses. Although law enforcement and forensic examiners have separate roles and different focuses, they so often work together with a patient/victim. Knowing the language involved in evidence collection and documentation, as well as understanding the resources available, can make or break a case.
Trafficking Screening Tool for Latin@s Accessing Domestic Violence Programs
Maria Cristina Pacheco Alcala
Presenters from the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families & Communities, a Project of Casa de Esperanza, will present a tool to identify Latin@ survivors of trafficking who access services in domestic violence shelters and programs. Although there are several trafficking screening toolkits available, most do not incorporate a culturally relevant approach. This tool is the result of the collaboration between national and local staff that engage with communities daily to provide support to Latin@ survivors.
Train-the-Trainer: How Medical Professionals Can Teach Peers About Domestic Violence
This training will teach attendees to train others in the medical profession on the dynamics of domestic violence, specifically within a healthcare setting. The presenter will review statistics, types of abuse, the cycle of violence, and how to help patients who may be experiencing abuse. The workshop will also explore how to create an environment in which patients feel comfortable disclosing abuse.
Traumatic Bonding: Why Victims May Trade Escape Skills for Coping Skills (Lunch Session)
Bring your lunch and 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 lunch session will cover how traumatic bonding develops and ways to support affected survivors.
Uber Law Enforcement Operations: Engagement, Partnership, & Response
Uber has invested in a global team of former law enforcement professionals, response team specialists, and a 24/7 online portal for law enforcement use only. These three components work together to educate, cooperate with, and respond to law enforcement’s investigative needs. Crucial to this team’s ongoing success is building and maintaining partnerships with law enforcement around the world. Through these partnerships, Uber has become and will continue to be a more active participant in law enforcement’s efforts to keep our communities safe. In this workshop, Uber’s Law Enforcement Liaisons will give an overview of how Uber works as a transportation platform, the future of that platform, the type of data that is captured as it relates to customers and transactions, and the process law enforcement must use to obtain this information during the course of a criminal investigation and/or critical incident. The following topics will be covered: Uber as a transportation platform; Uber law enforcement operations: outreach and response; riders, drivers, trips; Uber law enforcement portal; legal process submissions; emergency requests; and case examples.
Understanding Narcissism as the Key to Understanding Domestic Abuse & Gender-Based Violence
This workshop 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, 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
This workshop 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 survivor’s “world” is completely different than the hearing survivor’s. 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 workshop will discuss the unique needs of the deaf community, as well as those with mutiple identities (such as Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing).
Unsilencing the Non-State Torture & Trafficking Organized & Perpetrated Within Family Systems
Linda MacDonald, Jeanne Sarson, Jeanette Westbrook
Acts of torture perpetrated in the domestic private sphere against women and girls are seldom acknowledged or criminalized. Consequently, women’s survival responses can be misunderstood; women can be labeled mentally ill or called ‘crazy'. In a participatory research questionnaire done by the presenters in 2010, 81% of participants said the risk of experiencing discrimination and stigmatization prevented them from disclosing the torture victimizations they survived in childhood and or as adults within family systems, including torture by a spouse or when trafficked. This workshop will share 26 years of grassroot support of Canadian women who self-identified surviving family systems that tortured and trafficked them, both for the perpetrators’ pleasure and for the torturers’ relational connection to like-minded others. The presenters will share models that illustrate the modus operandi of such non-State torturers (NST) and first voice drawings done by women in their efforts to illustrate the torture they survived. The workshop will discuss the process of naming the care as "non-State torture victimization-traumatization care" and women’s post-traumatic stress as responses (PTSR), rather than being labeled as having a disorder (PTSD).
Using Code Enforcement to Address Human Trafficking
Certain types of businesses, such as massage establishments and alcoholic beverage establishments, have become an important element in the business model for prostitution and human trafficking. Pimps and traffickers are opening businesses disguised as legitimate establishments and allowing them to operate out in the public, next to legitimate businesses, and imbedding themselves in communities. Unfortunately, there are times that, due to limited resources, manpower, and time, traditional forms of law enforcement have had difficulties in dealing with these illicit businesses. Fortunately, in their efforts to disguise their criminal enterprise as a legitimate business, pimps and traffickers have left themselves vulnerable to the problems that every legitimate business has to deal with: regulation.
Using Gynecological Teaching Assistants to Train Nurses & Advocates (Lunch Session)
Liana Hill, Isle Polonko, Gail Swafford
A trauma-informed approach is extremely important when communicating with and examining patients who have been assaulted. This workshop will describe how utilizing Gynecologic Teaching Associates (GTAs) in your training programs can be hugely beneficial. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) along with the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) have started including in their trainings in clinical skills labs through hands-on care, including pelvic examinations, photo documentation, and age-varied scenarios. This lunch session will explain what this process involves for examiners and individuals who may want to become more involved in this field. Advocates are often trained to provide emotional support at the time of an assault, but providing support through the medical examination can sometimes be a huge learning curve. Utilizing GTA’s in advocate training can allow advocates to learn through scenarios in which they can practice various assessment skills on a volunteer, rather than a victim.
Using Victims of Crime Act Funding to Break Down Legal Barriers for Victims
Kathrina Peterson, Reilly Webb
The Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides federal victim assistance to every state and territory to support programs serving victims of crime. Victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, human trafficking, the opioid crisis, stalking, fraud in the aftermath of a natural disaster, and many other crimes typically have a wide array of civil legal needs. Too often, they face a daunting gauntlet in our justice system and fragmented or no services if they seek help. Texas is using its approximately $200 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance funding to support hundreds of victim service programs across Texas. One of these programs is Lone Star Legal Aid, which originally received direct funding from OVC to launch a comprehensive legal network providing a full range of legal services to crime victims. Texas is now using federal VOCA dollars to continue and expand legal services to victims of crime. This workshop will cover the evidence base for how civil legal aid helps crime victims and spotlight innovative approaches to providing these essential services. The presenters will provide concrete tips and share lessons learned so that attendees can try these approaches at home.
Voluntary Intoxication: It’s Not Consent for Sex, You Know!
Alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults are by far some of the most challenging cases any criminal justice or allied professional will work. The vast majority of are not reported, but when they are, the reported victims and suspects rarely receive the justice they deserve. This workshop will explore the profusion of sexual assaults that occur while a victim is under the influence of alcohol. The presenter will discuss the role of alcohol in our society, especially within the social spectrum of dating and pursuing sexual encounters, and provide skills to assist in the recognition of the effects of alcohol in both the reported victim and suspects. Multiple visual examples will be provided in order to help attendees recognize and evaluate degrees of intoxication, which assists in providing a foundation for assessing substantial incapacitation. Attendees will learn how substantial incapacitation fits within the realm of a complete and thorough investigation and prosecution.
What a Difference a Day Makes: The Transition from Minor to Adult Trafficking Victim
Jeanne Allert, Dede Wallace
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This law and many state statues assert a line of demarcation between how victims of domestic trafficking are to be identified and addressed based on age. By virtue of one day - when an individual turns age 18 - the framework of responses and services make a significant shift. This workshop will explore the tensions between the "almost 18" and how to prepare for and navigate that vital 24 hours between Minor Victim and Adult Victim. The presenters will look at the issues of how a case can be investigated, limitations in prosecution, considerations in victim placement, the role of parents/guardians, and challenges in aftercare services.
What HB 902 Can Do to Help Protect & Save Pregnant Women (Lunch Session)
Barry Goldstein, Doreen Sims
Far too often, women who are pregnant are not protected well against all forms of violent abuse. Up until 2019, Texas law excluded pregnant women as a protected class, just as the law did with seniors or the disabled. Many assaults were only classified as a misdemeanor. The passage of HB 902 in the 86th Texas Legislators provided increased penalties to an assault of a pregnant woman, and moved all assaults to a felony change. This lunch session will discuss HB 902 and how existing Texas laws can assist in prosecuting and saving mom and unborn babies from immediate and long-term harm.
What's an EXHOP? Why Should You Have One?
Cassandra Munoz, Richard Ketcham, Benjamin Nicholas
This workshop will provide details on how the Franklin County Municipal Court Department of Pretrial & Probation Services and the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) created an Extremely High-Risk Offender Program (ExHOP) that collaborated to increase the safety of survivors. Franklin County Municipal Court is the largest and busiest municipal court in Ohio. Their probation department has an intensive supervision unit that supervises approximately 1,500 intimate partner violence cases yearly, and CPD also has a specialized domestic violence unit. Once these two agencies realized they were focusing on the same individuals, they decided to join forces. The presenters will detail how they created the unit, barriers they encountered, successes stories, and how others can create the same model for their jurisdiction.
What’s Your Story? Law Enforcement & the LGBTQ+ Community Working Together
Michael Crumrine, Denise Jones
Law Enforcement is making huge strides to end gender bias and address intimate partner and sexual violence perpetrated in our communities. However, intimate partner and sexual violence perpetrated against members of the LGBTQ+ community is still often under-reported or overlooked by law enforcement. This is due in part to the fact we have not trained our officers to understand some of the unique dynamics present in an LGBTQ+ sexual assault, or how to be better at determining the predominate aggressor in these cases. This workshop will explore how negative responses can have dire consequences for the victim and the community in general, causing feelings of distrust and negativity toward law enforcement. On the other hand, a positive, constructive response can save lives and build trust within the community. Attendees will learn that the methods of power and control we look for in a heterosexual cisgender relationship my not be the same control tactics used in an LGBTQ+ relationship. If law enforcement is not educated on what to look for, an officer may misinterpret what they see and arrest the wrong person, or simply not do anything because they don’t see the violence for what it is. Either one of these outcomes is horrible for victims and continues the perception by some, that the criminal justice system does not care about the community.
When Predators Take Flight: A Bird's Eye View of Sexual Assault
Due to the risks of air travel (e.g. pilot error, mechanical failures, extreme weather, terrorist attacks, etc.), the top priority of the airline industry is passenger safety. It is ironic, then, that while airline disasters are extremely rare, the sexual safety of its passengers is far from assured and rarely even considered. Instead, the nature of commercial air travel continues to create a paradise for potential perpetrators and a nightmare for potential victims. This workshop will take a birds-eye view of sexual assault by examining actual cases that occurred at 30,000 feet. The presenter will lead a discussion of a wide range of topics 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.
When Water is Used as a Weapon: Homicides Staged as Drowning Accidents or Suicides, Pt. 1 & 2
Aquatic crimes against women (ACAW) are often fatal and occur more frequently than is currently understood. As a result, ACAW are too often misdiagnosed as accidents, suicides, or natural deaths. Forms include aquatic: nonfatal IPV, sexual assault and sadism, homicide, land-based homicides staged as non-criminal drowning, homicidal drowning, and elder abuse. These cases are typically treated as accidental drowning from the time of dispatch through the cause and manner of death diagnosis. Law enforcement, medical personnel, IPV workers, and jurisprudence members almost never have training to recognize, identify, document, investigate and prosecute ACAW. Drowning is a diagnosis of exclusion, and these are mainly circumstantial evidence cases. This workshop will present ACAW red flags, discuss 16 main challenges, and provide a practical, proven investigative framework.
When Your Gut Tells You Your Patient Isn’t Safe at Home: Legal Solutions to Medical Problems
Amanda Elkanick Oder, Bronwyn Blake
Many patients have legal issues which impede their ability to achieve optimal health outcomes. Civil legal services break down these barriers through protective orders, divorce/custody petitions, crime victims' compensation, and more to allow patients to fully pursue the healthcare plans set out by their providers. This workshop will provide knowledge to medical professionals about how to screen patients for health-harming social needs, as well as about the value of implementing a Medical-Legal Partnership. Additionally, this workshop will help physicians and support teams understand the variety of civil legal remedies available to patients.
Where There is Dark, There is Light: Exploring the Online Universe
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 workshop will explore the implications of both sides of the spectrum. The presenter 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.
Why Won’t She Listen? How to Effectively Communicate with Survivors & Increase Participation
Ruth Guerreiro, Jordyn Lawson
Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated while working with a victim of domestic violence? Ever thought to yourself, “Why won’t she listen?” It may feel taboo to say, but the truth is that we all feel frustrated at times. This workshop will discuss typical reactions from victims that may affect their ability and/or willingness to participate in the investigation, prosecution, or therapeutic process based on where they are at in the stages of change. The presenters will also lay out practical ways to address these reactions and overcome barriers to more effectively communicate with victims of domestic violence.
Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children: Mothering, Resilience, & Protecting the Next Generation
Approximately 22 million mothers in the U.S. have a history of child sexual abuse (CSA). This workshop will reveal the pain and triumphs of mothering as a survivor by examining the therapeutic needs and concerns of mothers who have survived CSA. The presenter will synthesize the related scholarly literature, her own research, and 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist working with survivor moms. The workshop will name and examine the protective factors that have helped successful mothers to overcome their negative childhood experiences and protect their children from the abuse they experienced.
Women's Use of Violence: The Impact of Arrest & Conviction
Marcus Bruning, Melissa Scaia
Most victims of battering are not passive when being physically, psychologically, or sexually attacked. Instead, as part of their efforts to cope and survive, many victims resist their assailants by fighting back. Sometimes this resistance involves the use of violence; sometimes that violence is legal, and sometimes it is not. The issue of women's violence against their intimate partners came to the forefront of the battered women's movement nearly three decades ago when states and localities passed laws and policies went into effect that increased numbers of victims being arrested, charged, and convicted for domestic violence-related offenses. Our criminal justice interventions need to ensure that victims of battering are not in more danger or in compromising situations as a result of the policies and protocols that were developed to increase their safety. Criminal justice interventions designed by Coordinated Community Responses (CCRs) are successful when the interventions account for: the abuser, the victim of battering, those who are in a relationship with the abuser/victim of battering (children, brothers, sisters, parents, other family or friends), and the outside intervener. When victims use violence in self-defense or for other reasons, CCR members often disagree about which interventions are appropriate or fair. This workshop will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the impact that the arrest and conviction have on victims of battering in order to develop criminal justice interventions that are just and enhance safety in the lives of victims.