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Expert Witness Preconference

Sunday, May 19

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Register Here

The maximum number of participants for this preconference is 30 attendees.

Expert Witness Preconference Presented by:


The legal system’s approach to cases involving gender-based violence can vary due to a variety of issues. Issues that stem from bias, myth, misconception, cultural norms, reporting, investigating, and (mis)understanding of these crimes. Despite progress, challenges persist. It is crucial for legal systems to continually adapt and improve to address the safety, healing, and restorative needs of victims/survivors and to find ways to effectively hold perpetrators accountable for their behavior.

Perpetrators depend on secrecy, manipulation, fear, social engineering, victim-blaming, bias, and myth to shift the lens of justice off their behavior. Advocates, victim-service providers, and others who work in the field of gender-based violence are uniquely positioned to educate professionals who work in the legal system, using their education, training, or experience to inform their expertise. Experts can serve as consultants or testifying witnesses in these cases. Experts can educate professionals and fact-finders in legal systems by identifying patterns of power and control, challenging myth and misperception, explaining trauma, contextualizing behavior, identifying safety and risk, and providing alternative explanations for behavior that might otherwise be (mis)judged.

This training is designed to increase participants understanding of, and comfort in, serving as a consultant or testifying expert witness in cases involving gender-based violence, and more specifically intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Training modules will encompass content related to consulting, qualifying as an expert, providing testimony, the neurobiology of trauma, batterer behavior, risk assessment, report writing, developing a curriculum vitae and annotated bibliography.

“Our system doesn’t have to stop because survivors choose to do what’s best for them.”


8:00am - 8:30am (30 min)

, Registration

8:30am - 9:00am (30 min)

Welcome, Introduction, Training Overview

9:00am - 9:45am (45 min)

Expert Witness in Interpersonal Violence Cases: Who Are They & What Can They Do?

9:45am - 10:15am (30 min)

Qualifying as an Expert Witness In-Person & With Your CV

10:15am - 10:30am (15 min)


10:30am - 11:15am (45 min)

Neurology of Trauma

11:15am - 12:00pm (45 min)

Perpetrator Strategies, Victim/Survivor Protective Strategies, Power & Control, Cycle of Violence; Resistive Violence

12:00pm - 1:00pm (1 hr)

Lunch (on your own)

1:00pm - 1:15pm (15 min)

Direct & Cross Examination: Testify Do’s & Don’ts

1:15pm - 2:00pm (45 min)

Myths & Misconceptions

2:00pm - 3:00pm (1 hr)

Safety Planning/Risk Assessment/Lethality Assessment

3:00pm - 3:15pm (15 min)


3:15pm - 3:30pm (15 min)

Tips & Techniques for Interviewing & Report Writing

3:30pm - 4:15pm (45 min)

Developing an Annotated Bibliography

4:15pm - 4:30pm (15 min)

Questions, Wrap-up, Evaluation



Margaret Bassett, LPC-S

Margaret Bassett is an educator, trainer, presenter, and consultant specializing in topics related to gender-based violence. Ms. Bassett is the owner of IPV Training & Consulting, LLC., and provides individualized training addressing the complex and nuanced dynamics inherent in cases involving interpersonal violence, including victim/perpetrator behavior, myth & misinformation, safety planning, risk assessment, trauma, and expert witness. She consults and serves as an expert witness in cases involving interpersonal or gender-based violence and has 40 years of experience working directly with victim/survivors providing therapy, resource and referral information, support/advocacy, safety planning and risk assessment at the individual and institutional levels. Ms. Bassett has worked in social service systems, mental health systems, criminal justice systems, and in higher education. She is an adjunct professor at The University of Texas in Austin and provides multi-disciplinary statewide and national trainings. Ms. Bassett is also a licensed professional counselor-supervisor.