Click to view full program
Adult Forensic Interviewing Program: The How & Why of Bringing One to Your Jurisdiction - Johna Stallings, Khara Breeden, Micala Clark, Jen Peuplie
Johna Stallings, Khara Breeden
How can investigators improve investigations, prosecutions, and outcomes for adult victims? The Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners: Forensic Center of Excellence and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office addressed this question with action. By modeling the Children’s Assessment Center, The Forensic Center, a Texas non-profit agency with a mobile forensic nursing program, created an in-house adult forensic interviewing program within their Houston offices. This workshop will demonstrate how to develop an adult forensic interviewing program utilizing protocols, technology, and forward-thinking partners to change how adult victims are treated and interviewed. Tele-forensic interviewing, live streaming, online platforms, and COVID concerns will also be discussed.
The Adult Advocacy Center's Model for Victims of Crime with Disabilities (Lunch Session) - Leigha Shoup, Katherine Yoder
Leigha Shoup, Katherine Yoder
The Adult Advocacy Centers (AACs) are the first centers that will be equipped to provide holistic, accessible and trauma-informed services to adult crime victims with disabilities in a universal and multi-sensory environment. AACs work in partnership with state, regional, and community agencies to coordinate a response that promotes the safety and well-being of all individuals. To provide these services, AACs facilitate multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) within local communities. This workshop will provide a deeper look into this unique approach to victim services in effort to assist attendees in understanding best practices for survivors.
Animal Abuse + Family Violence: Investigation & Prosecution Strategies to Keep Families Safe - Allie Phillips
Research has well-documented the link between animal abuse and family violence. With 68% of American homes having pets, family violence first responders and prosecutors should understand how pets are targeted to gain silence and compliance of victims, which can impact successful investigations and prosecutions. This 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.
Apps, Nests, & Tiles: Exploring the Internet of Things (IoT) & Impact on Survivors - Elaina Roberts
The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly and drastically changed how people live their lives and interact, and offenders are misusing these technologies as tools of abuse, especially for offenses involving domestic and sexual violence and stalking. This highly interactive workshop will give attendees an opportunity to better understand the experiences of victims of tech abuse. A simulated video experience will help attendees consider the complex and challenging situations that this type of abuse can create and the impossible decisions and choices survivors are often left with. This workshop will also explore how to take context into account in a case involving intimate partner violence through a game of deciphering emoji conversations, with a discussion of why context matters for survivors of tech abuse. At the end of this workshop, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the impact technological abuse can have on victims as well as recognition of the different technologies being utilized by abusers.
INTERACTIVE: Aquatic Crimes Against Women Staged as Noncriminal Aquatic Deaths Pt. 1 - Andrea Zaferes, Pam Schmidt
Andrea Zaferes, Pam Schmidt
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.
INTERACTIVE: Aquatic Crimes Against Women Staged as Noncriminal Bathtub Deaths Pt. 2 - Andrea Zaferes, Pam Schmidt
Andrea Zaferes, Pam Schmidt
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 practical skills that include optional in-water experiences.
Assessing Law Enforcement’s Response to Sexual Assault: Recommendations from the SAKI Sexual Assault Unit Assessment Program - Kevin Strom, Amy Durall, James Markey
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. 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.
Assess Yourself Before You Assess Your Patient: How Implicit Bias Complicates Healthcare IPV Screening - Cathy Glenn, Kaeli Vandertulip
Cathy Glenn, Kaeli Vandertulip
Implicit bias can manifest in the most well-intentioned individuals and unchecked bias can lead to the “isms” of society – sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, etc., serving as the impetus to the oppression of groups of people. These biases can in turn affect interactions between groups that are different. This workshop will explore the ways that implicit bias shows up in places that everyone turns to for help or healing…the hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic. Similar to the domestic violence model, there is also a medical power and control wheel to show how healthcare providers can be unknowingly abusive to victims of IPV. The presenters will illustrate situations where bias can flare up and activate in the busy, chaotic, understaffed atmosphere of our nation’s emergency rooms and hospitals, and what can be done to prevent it. Finally, how a healthcare provider can identify their own individual biases and rely on their understanding of the dynamics of IPV as a powerful force in forging relationships and educating women will also be discussed.
Beyond "Pray, Stay, Obey": Understanding & Supporting Christian Domestic Violence Victims - Julie Owens
New research indicates that almost 71% of Americans identify as Christian. Nevertheless, abused churchgoers 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 Trauma-Informed Care - Ruth Guerreiro
Trauma-informed care has become a buzzword that professionals use to describe their work with survivors. Unfortunately, trauma work has not always been trauma-informed. In this workshop, attendees will explore the history of the conceptualization and treatment of how traumatic events affect people. The presenter will look at how services became trauma-informed and consider what’s next. In a world of constant change and new discoveries, how can we improve our work with survivors? How can we go beyond trauma-informed care to keep the movement moving forward? This workshop will provide the tools to keep the momentum and become better advocates to survivors.
Black Girlhood, Interrupted: Pornography's Impact on Sexual Violence in the Lives of Black Girls & Women - Carolyn West
The docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” left viewers asking: “How could a popular singer produce child pornography that featured degrading acts involving Black girls and women?” The reality is that these images are pervasive in the media and culture. This 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.
Body-Worn Camera Considerations & the Victim Impact - Angela Weekes
This workshop will discuss the use of body worn cameras in interpersonal and intimate partner violent crime investigations. The presenter will introduce some of the challenges and policy considerations around body worn cameras by law enforcement and their impact on victims. Victim safety and privacy related to what is captured on body worn cameras as well as considerations for activation vs deactivation and who has access to the material will also be discussed.
CASE STUDY: Bryant Jones: Justice After Prosecutorial Trauma - Melissa Hoppmeyer, Amanda Tenorio
Melissa Hoppmeyer, Amanda Tenorio
Bryant Jones was a typical domestic violence batterer who exploited gaps in the criminal justice system by capitalizing on the victim’s refusal to cooperate which led to the victim’s arrest and conviction. Subsequently, Jones was involved in a brutal assault and kidnapping with the victim again refusing to cooperate. However, with patience and a successful investigation, the victim regained trust in the system and was able to receive justice.
Building a Coordinated Community Response for Stalking - Jennifer Landhuis
Stalking, like domestic and sexual violence, requires a coordinated response that joins multidisciplinary community partners to meet the needs of victims. While many communities have an established response to domestic and sexual violence, the response to stalking has often not been elevated to the same level. Effective coordinated responses to stalking go beyond the criminal justice system to focus on the creation of a wide system of support for victims. This workshop will focus on building a coordinated response to stalking, both within the legal system and beyond, and will promote the education and awareness of stalking as a component of this response.
Building a Domestic Violence Case with the Defense in Mind - Nancy Oglesby, Larry Braunstein
Nancy Oglesby, Larry Braunstein
Investigating and prosecuting domestic violence cases is often very challenging. Victim behavior can appear counter-intuitive, the victim’s ability to impart what happened can be compromised due to a number of factors, and victims frequently become uncooperative with the prosecution prior to trial. This workshop, taught by two former prosecutors, one of whom is now a defense attorney, will address the difficult issues faced by law enforcement and prosecutors in bringing a successful domestic violence case to trial. At each phase of the process, the presenters will address how the defense will view and prepare for the case, as well as address best practices for law enforcement and prosecutors to build the strongest cases possible.
Building a Trauma-Informed Response to Violent Crime in Indian Country - Leslie A. Hagen
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.
Call Me Crazy: The Role of Survival & Fear in Investigations & Prosecutions - Kelsey McKay, Kristen Troken
Kelsey McKay, Kristen Troken
Violence, rape, and trauma change how a survivor communicates to the world. When a victim makes a report, there is a process by which we filter information, often resulting in critically inaccurate judgments. Survivors trust us to hear what they are saying, but their words and actions often get lost in translation. The most common and effective defense to crimes committed against women is to attack their credibility. Implanting a seed of “crazy” can destroy the credibility of even the most ideal victim. Survivors’ behavior and actions are regularly misrepresented by the defense and by the system, resulting in failed investigations and prosecutions. This workshop will be presented by a former prosecutor and a survivor who persisted together to overcome this exploited defense.
Capturing Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault & Other Drugging Crimes - Trinka Porrata
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. 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.
CATCH Court: A Restorative Justice Response for Victims of Human Trafficking - Gwen England
Human trafficking is a global criminal enterprise, victimizing thousands of women each year in the U.S. CATCH Court is a human trafficking and prostitution court in Columbus, OH. Certified through the Ohio Supreme Court, CATCH has paved the way to serve women in the criminal justice system that have been identified as victims of trafficking. This workshop will describe the CATCH model hand discuss how the model provides the court and criminal justice workers a new perspective on how to supervise, treat, and respond to this population of victimized women who are often arrested on criminal charges.
CASE STUDY: Catching a Predator: Investigating the Howard University Rapist - Melissa Hoppmeyer, Lisa Shepperd
Melissa Hoppmeyer, Lisa Shepperd
Julian Lee Everett was a successful D.C. businessman and also a serial sexual predator. This case study will explore the law enforcement and state’s attorney’s office investigation into Julian Everett, including: the methods used to investigate historical allegations of sexual assault; barriers and issues that arose during the investigation; how and why the team ultimately decided to charge; the aftermath of the investigation and charging; and how a fresh look and deep dive into the Howard University rapist’s historical sexual assaults allowed investigators and prosecutors to fully understand Everett’s crimes and to finally charge a serial rapist.
Caught in the Crossfire: How Children Are Affected by Domestic Violence - Amber Nealy, Jordan Gates
Amber Nealy, Jordan Gates
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 - Ric Hertel
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.
Collaboration Safety: Safety Planning & Lethality Assessment - Myra 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 speaker 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 - Kayce Munyeneh
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 in 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.
A Conversation on Bridging the Gap Between Female & Male Survivors - Karla Vierthaler, Louis Marven
Karla Vierthaler, Louis Marven
Statistics reveal that it is very difficult for female survivors to report an abuse or assault. The numbers are even more dismal for male survivors; many do not seek help for issues related to recent or past sexual assault. As agencies operate out of trauma-informed frameworks for female survivors, it is important for various systems to be aware of identifying the trauma male survivors experience as well. This workshop will consider how the barriers male survivors face while seeking services can also indicate barriers for women. Additionally, by including a male survivor focus, potential abuse or assault of women could be detected, since many female survivors live with, work with, or take care of male survivors. The presenters will discuss how to form effective partnerships, incorporate effective messaging strategies, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s new tools on serving male survivors.
Courageous Conversations: Improving Our Response to Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence in the Black Community - Tom Tremblay, Ayana Wallace, Carolyn West
Tom Tremblay, Ayana Wallace, Carolyn West
In this timely conversation, a panel of experts will teach law enforcement how to enhance their response to domestic violence and sexual assault (DV/SA) incidents by understanding the impact of chronic compound traumas experienced by the Black community. Attendees will learn how this historical trauma and oppression has shaped relationships between police and the Black community and will be able to recognize how current day societal and institutional factors and biases create obstacles to help seeking.
Court Ordered Abuse: Violence & Long-Lasting Trauma of Women Forced to Co-Parent with Their Abuser - Doreen Hunter, Barry Goldstein, Maureen Therese Hannah
Doreen Hunter, Barry Goldstein, Maureen Therese Hannah
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.
COVID & the Black Survivor - Carvana Cloud
This lunch session will explore the root causes of domestic violence and domestic violence related homicides in the Black community from March 2020 to present. Attendees will explore the five social determinants of health required to reduce domestic violence in the Black community and learn practical solutions for how communities can pivot and adjust their domestic violence responses to be more culturally-relevant and trauma-informed to ultimately reduce domestic violence in the Black community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Cracking the Code on Generation Z: How to Build New Alliances to Fight Crimes against Women - Ziwei Qi, Hsin-Yen Yang
Ziwei Qi, Hsin-Yen Yang
Engaging Generation Z (Gen Z) in fighting crimes against women presents exciting opportunities for gaining a large number of allies for law enforcement and community agencies. Gen Z consists of those who were born roughly between 1997 and 2012. This generation is often misunderstood as self-centered and socially indifferent. However, according to recent studies, Gen Z has earned the reputation as “the cause generation” for being socially conscious and participating in activism worldwide. Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in American history. According to recent data comprised by the U.S. Census Bureau, the combined millennial, Gen Z, and younger generations numbered 166 million as of July 2019, or 50.7% of the nation’s population. This workshop is led by two university faculty members in Criminal Justice and Communication Studies. They are also the co-founders of The Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence at Fort Hays State University. They firmly believe that Gen Zers can serve as the bridges connecting different age groups and their work can become a catalyst for positive social changes. The presenters will share their experiences in creating successful collaborative projects with the law enforcement and community agencies and they have invited their students to discuss the project outcomes. The presenters will also share their project plans and rubrics with the attendees.
Creating Culturally Responsive & Holistic Abusive Partner Interventions - Brittany Davis, Juan Carlos Arean
Brittany Davis, Juan Carlos Arean
Communities across the country are looking for new ways to include abusive partner intervention in their coordinated community response to domestic violence and are in need of flexible, holistic approaches that reflect the strengths and the needs of particular communities. The presenters have worked with jurisdictions across the country to help program facilitators, criminal and civil judges, advocates, probation, and other stakeholders develop new and strengthened strategies to increase their engagement around issues of abusive partner accountability, engagement, and victim safety. This 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
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.
Creating & Sustaining a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for Your Tribal College Campus - Raquel DeHerrera, Amber Warman
Raquel DeHerrera, Amber Warman
Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) on tribal college and university campuses can make a huge difference in the lives of tribal students who have been sexually assaulted as SARTs advocate for victims’ safety and confidentiality. Unfortunately, SARTs on tribal and university campuses are few in numbers. In this session, a SART will be defined, challenges will be identified and methods to develop a SART within the community and on college campuses will be discussed.
The Deadly Intersection of Domestic Violence & Gun Violence During COVID - Melissa Paquette, Ruhi Bengali
Melissa Paquette, Ruhi Bengali
Research shows that access to a gun makes it five times more likely that a woman will die at the hands of a domestic abuser. The COVID-19 crisis has intensified the factors that contribute to our current gun-related domestic violence crisis. Domestic violence and the compounding effects of the pandemic highlight the importance of strengthening and enforcing laws to keep guns out of the hands of abusers, and providing support to domestic violence shelters, hotlines, and courts in order to keep victims and their families safe. This presentation will provide an overview of the lethal intersection of domestic violence and gun violence and examine legislative and non-legislative solutions to supporting victims and their families.
Differentiated Batterer Intervention Programming for Offenders - Cassandra Munoz
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) - Rachel Graber, Lisa Geller
Rachel Graber, Lisa Geller
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.
Domestic & Sexual Violence Responses for Urban Native Programs - Victoria Ybanez, Hope Wenke
Victoria Ybanez, Hope Wenke
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women experience higher rates of domestic and sexual violence than any other population. Native people residing in urban areas are amongst the most invisible populations in the nation, yet 72% of all AI/AN people, and 78% of AI/AN children, live in cities. This invisibility has created and perpetuates extreme disparities across all major sectors of life and community for tribal citizens living in cities, including family services, housing and homelessness, economic development and employment, justice systems, and health and wellness. Culturally-informed responses for indigenous victims are critically important to enhance safety for urban-located indigenous victims and provide effective options for healing from the trauma. This workshop will explore the challenges indigenous victims face when seeking victim services in urban areas and describe the full range of training and technical assistance available through Red Wind Consulting.
Domestic Violence Fatality Review: State of the Art - Neil Websdale
The Domestic Fatality Review concept stems from historic origins related to women public health concerns, the feminist movement, the civil rights movement, and more. Philosophical linkages led to the need for increased perpetrator accountability regarding crimes against women offenses. Using a multidisciplinary model, this workshop will address makeup, scope of activity, process, and outcomes of domestic violence fatality reviewing.
Domestic Violence High-Risk Team & Protective Orders (Lunch Session) - Lauren Cisneros, Julianna Sweeney
Lauren Cisneros, Julianna Sweeney
This workshop 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 protective orders and the Domestic Violence High-Risk Team Model, as well as 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 - Kim Nash
This workshop will address interventions that healthcare professionals can apply to 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 - Robert Frechette
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.
Elder Abuse & the Federal Response (Lunch Session) - Donna Strittmatter Max, Dawn Theiss
Donna Strittmatter Max, Dawn Theiss
The mission of the Dept. of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative is combat elder abuse by providing a multitude of resources to the community, victims, law enforcement, and professionals working in the elder services field. The Initiative focuses on enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services and public awareness. This lunch session will highlight the work being done through the Elder Justice Initiative and the resources available. The presenters will also discuss federal laws currently being utilized to combat elder abuse, including criminal prosecution and civil remedies.
Empowering Young Women on Campus - Kaiti Dinges
Empowering Young Women on Campus is a female-specific program that educates college-aged women about issues such as gender inequality, healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors, body image, self-confidence vs. self-esteem, and rape culture. This workshop will take a deep dive into societal aspects that contribute to gender-based violence and the severity of gender and relationship violence on campus, as well as why gender-biased attitudes and behaviors in society can be the leading causes of violence against women. Attendees will leave with a set of tools to implement gender-specific prevention programming on campus.
Ending the Game: Understanding Psychological Coercion in Commercial Sexual Exploitation & Exploring One Promising Solution- Rachel Thomas, Emily Hollerbach
Rachel Thomas, Emily Hollerbach
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. 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 - Katherine Wurmfeld, Kim Piechowiak, Danielle Pugh-Markie
Katherine Wurmfeld, Kim Piechowiak, Danielle Pugh-Markie
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. 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.
Enhancing Victim Participation in Stalking Investigations - Jennifer Landhuis, Patrick Brady
Jennifer Landhuis, Patrick Brady
Understanding why stalking victims contact the police is vital to improving responses, victim cooperation, and decision-making. Using the latest research findings on the topic, coupled with case-studies from actual stalking investigations, this interactive workshop will challenge your problem-solving skills to identify and deter stalking behaviors, develop strategies to corroborate allegations of unwanted contact, and enhancing victim participation in investigations and prosecutions.
Ethical Investigation & Prosecution of Sexual Assault Crimes - Julie Germann, Justin Boardman
Julie Germann, Justin Boardman
Sexual assault case investigations and prosecutions encounter ethical dilemmas at nearly every turn. Prosecutors and law enforcement are forced to make decisions every day that will affect the outcome of these cases. Large caseloads, case clearances, victim cooperation, solvability, and conviction rates are just some of the issues that must be addressed on the road to justice. Do professionals owe a duty to the imperfect victim? Attendees will participate in an interactive and engaging session with a former prosecutor and detective to answer some of the sticky questions that come up when handling sexual violence cases.
An Examination of the Critical Role of Corrections in Abuser Accountability - Scott Hampton
Holding abusers accountable requires stakeholders to seamlessly coordinate their services. While considerable attention has been paid to the role of law enforcement, the courts, and abuser intervention programs, less attention has been paid to the role of Corrections, both behind the walls and in the field. The focus of this workshop will be on highlighting these important functions while presenting information about the tactics abusers use to manipulate this part of the system. Risk assessment strategies, relevant needs of victims and survivors, and disclosures made by abusers of abuser intervention programs within both the walls and community-based programs will also be discussed.
Expert Witness Testimony in Domestic Violence Cases - Melissa Scaia, Meriel Lester, Scott Miller, Julie Owens
Melissa Scaia, Meriel Lester, Scott Miller, Julie Owens
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. The presenters 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
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. 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.
Firearms & Family Violence: Connecting the Pathway to Prevent Mass Shootings - Amanda Elkanick Oder
Amanda Elkanick Oder
As mass shootings become more common, a critical look at the criminology of perpetrators of these crimes in order to create tools and laws that will prevent these crimes from continuing is needed. In this workshop, presenters will take a deep dive into a case study of recent mass shootings, identify red flags, and discuss current laws. Attendees will examine federal and state laws that may provide loopholes for these offenders to slip through the cracks and how our communities can collaborate effectively to identify high-risk offenders, create firearm surrender protocols, and protections for survivors.
Finding Hope in the Courthouse: Nashville’s Court-Based Family Justice Center - Diane Lance, Becky Bullard
Diane Lance, Becky Bullard
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.
Forensic Evaluation of Gunshot Wounds: Applications for Domestic & Officer-Involved Shootings, Pt. 1 & 2 - Bill Smock
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.
Funding Opportunities through the Office for Victims of Crime (Lunch Session) - Kathrina Peterson, Sara Gilmer
Kathrina Peterson, Sara Gilmer
Join representatives from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) 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.
CASE STUDY: Harem of Horror: A Batterer's Manipulation of His Victims & the Criminal Justice System - Elissa Wev
Christopher Whaley was a model probationer and a master manipulator. Prior to pleading to probation on two felony charges of family violence against his pregnant girlfriend, B, Whaley called police from a Dallas hospital to accuse B of assaulting him. B was indicted, arrested, and plead to her own felony probation for Aggravated Assault. For the next three years, Whaley kept B a prisoner to her probation conditions. He convinced court officers, prosecutors, and a district judge that B was the problem. This case study will examine how Whaley exploited systematic and personal vulnerabilities to weaponize the criminal justice system against his victims. Attendees will explore strategies for prosecuting probation violations to hold batterers accountable.
Holding the Framework: Working with Survivors of Multi-Abuse Trauma - Lindley King
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 Not to Lose an SVU Case - Donna Kelly
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. 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) - Bryan Franke
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.
IACP Lessons Learned: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence & Sexual Violence National Demonstration Initiative - Rachel Apfelbaum, Fred Fletcher, Denise Jones, Scott Stevens, Angela Weekes
Rachel Apfelbaum, Fred Fletcher, Denise Jones, Scott Stevens, Angela Weekes
In 2017, the IACP, in partnership with NCVLI, received an OVC award to work with six law enforcement agencies on increasing their capacity to effectively address gender-based crimes by identifying aspects of agency culture that may impact an effective and comprehensive response, developing sustainable strategies, and implementing trauma-informed, victim-centered procedures agency-wide to support victims of these crimes. This panel discussion, made up of representatives of selected demonstration sites, will highlight the efforts of the Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence National Demonstration Initiative agencies, present details of how receiving dedicated resources, support, and technical assistance over a two-year period strengthened agency response to and investigations of domestic violence, sexual assault, strangulation, and stalking, and discuss how much of the work can be replicated in all agencies.
Identifying & Investigating Asphyxiation Crimes - Kelsey McKay, Kimberly Orts
Kelsey McKay, Kimberly 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.
I Just Can't Think Straight: Partner Inflicted Brain Injury, Domestic Violence, & a Way Forward - Rachel Ramirez
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 - Ruth Guerreiro, Krista Fultz, Jordyn Lawson, Amber Nealy
Ruth Guerreiro, Krista Fultz, 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.
In Her Shoes - Krista Fultz, Jordyn Lawson, Kristene Ruddle
Krista Fultz, Jordyn Lawson, Kristene Ruddle
This experiential interactive session utilizes the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s interactive virtual activity “In Their Shoes.” Attendees will have the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a survivor of domestic violence, be able to make decisions along her journey, and then debrief the experience with fellow attendees.
Indigenous Victims of Trafficking in North America - Rochelle Keyhan, Oscar Delgado, Kathleen Gately
Rochelle Keyhan, Oscar Delgado, Kathleen Gately
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.
Investigating & Prosecuting Violent Crime in Tribal Communities: Working with Victims in Current & Cold Cases, Pt. 1 & 2 - Patricia Thackston, Leslie A. Hagen, Michelle Rivard Parks
Patricia Thackston, Leslie A. Hagen, 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 Judicial Language Project: Using Research to Persuade Media & Courts to Avoid Harmful Language - Wendy Murphy
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 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.
Justice for All: Culturally-Sensitive Responses for Minority Survivors of Domestic Violence - Carvana Cloud
Minority women are disproportionately affected by domestic violence. Research shows that foreign-born women are nearly twice as likely to be killed by an intimate partner than a non-intimate, and a number of factors unique to immigrants–including social isolation, traditional and cultural attitudes/norms about gender roles, poor socioeconomic status, and lack of divorce or employment options for women–contribute to the increase in their vulnerability. This workshop will examine the cultural barriers that African American, Hispanic, South Asian, and Middle Eastern domestic violence victims face as they navigate the criminal justice system.
Labor Trafficking in the U.S. & Successful Local Investigations - Rochelle Keyhan, Joseph Scaramucci
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.
Legal Rights of Immigrant Survivors: Public Benefits, Housing, & Victim Services - Rocio Molina, Krista Del Gallo
Rocio Molina, Krista Del Gallo
This workshop will discuss the range of publicly funded victim and social services programs, legal assistance, and the wide range of services and assistance that are legally available to all victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault, regardless of immigration status. As immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) victims begin the process of applying for crime victim based immigration relief, their access to federal and state public benefits grows. The scope of public benefits an immigrant survivor or her children are eligible to receive vary based on the form of immigration relief the survivor is pursuing, the type of benefit they need, and the state in which the survivor resides. This workshop will discuss how having legally correct information about benefits and services immigrant survivors helps law enforcement and prosecutors in their work, as well as the benefits to investigations and prosecutions when victims are able to access the help they need. The presenters will lead interactive activities to build skills to identify the benefits for which immigrant victims qualify and teach best practices for accompanying immigrant survivors applying for benefits. This workshop will discuss the range of publicly funded victim and social services programs, legal assistance, and the wide array of services and assistance that are legally available to all victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault without regard to immigration status, including legal services and assistance from police and prosecutors.
*Restricted to Law Enforcement & Prosecutors* Leveraging Technology to Find Sex Trafficking Victims Faster with Spotlight - Kristin McGunnigle, Joseph Scaramucci
Kristin McGunnigle, Joseph Scaramucci
Over the last five years, Spotlight has helped investigators identify victims of sex trafficking around the U.S. and Canada while adapting to the ever-changing online sexual marketplace. Through a case study and hands-on exercises, attendees will see first-hand how Spotlight has evolved to help prioritize leads and identify victims quicker by leveraging the latest, innovative technology. Attendees will level up on their Spotlight knowledge and experience how Spotlight helps identify the most vulnerable victims while reducing investigation time by up to 67%.
LGBTQ Latin@ Realities: Addressing Gender & Sexual-Identity Based Violence from a Culturally Responsive Approach - Jose Juan Lara, Jr.
Jose Juan Lara, Jr.
The workshop is designed to discuss the intersections of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Latin@ identities in the context of interpersonal and systemic violence. The presenter will engage the audience in assessing the possible impact of practices that are not culturally appropriate when responding to acts of gender and sexual identity-based violence that target LGBTQ Latin@ communities. Additionally, the presenter will demonstrate the need for building and sustaining culturally-relevant partnerships to effectively address and respond to violence.
*Restricted to Law Enforcement* VIRTUAL LAB: Locating Trafficking Victims Through Online Operations - Joseph Scaramucci
*LAW ENFORCEMENT ONLY* This lab will teach both new and seasoned human trafficking investigators how to conduct sting operations using minimal manpower and resources while maintaining officer and victim safety. Attendees will be able to participate in the location and identification of possible human trafficking victims in their jurisdiction and identify ways to locate them for purposes of victim recovery and defendant accountability and arrest. The presenter will discuss locating ads associated with human trafficking, tools used to identify likely victims, surveillance techniques, picking meet locations, and suspect identification and apprehension.
CASE STUDY: The Making of a Pimp - Brooke Grona-Robb, Cara Pierce
Brooke Grona-Robb, Cara Pierce
Hailing from a dysfunctional home life and subsequent brain injury as a child, this case study discusses Allen Nash, an extremely violent pimp that victimized several girls and women in Texas and Louisiana. After years of kidnapping and forcing young women to engage in commercial sex, Nash was finally prosecuted on state kidnapping and federal human trafficking charges. Prosecutors in this case study will discuss the uniqueness of these trials to include aspects of his co-conspirators and victims. The presenters will also discuss individuals from his past who provided insight on the trajectory from his tragic childhood to being a sadistic, ruthless pimp now serving four life sentences in federal prison.
Military Sexual Trauma: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How to Fix It - Martina Chesonis
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is a broad term referring to experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening harassment during an individual’s military service. While MST is a small niche in the overarching realm of interpersonal power-based violence in the military, national media attention has recently thrust the U.S. military’s sexual assault prevention and response efforts into the spotlight. This workshop will provide a broad look at Military Sexual Trauma, covering the statistics of MST, reporting procedures, and institutional barriers facing the Department of Defense and affecting survivors of military sexual trauma.
Mommy Dearest: When Victimization Hits Close to Home - Jeanne Allert, Deanna Wallace
Jeanne Allert, Deanna Wallace
The Hollywood rendering of domestic sex trafficking often has some dark and nefarious person pulling the strings of emotional control from a distance. Sometimes that’s true, but there is also a disturbingly frequent occurrence of the perpetrator being someone who’s out in the open, right in the victim’s circle of influence: The mother. This workshop will explore cases – from a law enforcement and victim services perspective – where the offending party is the victim’s maternal parent and how that dynamic impacts a successful outcome.
Monitoring Transactions: How Financial Institutions Identify & Report Human Trafficking - Steven Cobb
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 - Julie Germann
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.
Moving Toward Justice: Pretrial Motion Practice - Jane Anderson, John Wilkinson
Jane Anderson, John Wilkinson
Pretrial motions may be necessary to exclude irrelevant evidence, litigate the admissibility of out-of-court statements, admit expert testimony, or introduce evidence of a defendant’s other crimes and “bad acts.” This workshop will address common pretrial motions in cases of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Case scenarios will also be introduced to engage participants in the use of pretrial strategies to improve victim safety, maintain privacy, improve trial outcomes, and combat likely defenses.
CASE STUDY: New & Better Justice for Victims with Intellectual & Communication Disabilities - Wendy Murphy
This case study will examine the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of a sexual assault case involving Ruby McDonough, a stroke victim who could not speak and was sexually victimized by an aide at the nursing home where she lived. The man was arrested, but Ruby was later declared incompetent to testify because she was unable to provide a narrative description of the assault. The presenter will showcase how Ruby challenged that ruling and set a precedent for the nation by establishing new rules that require officials involved in criminal matters–from law enforcement to prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges–to provide disabled crime victims with all necessary accommodations to ensure their equal access to justice.
New Elder Abuse App for Texas Law Enforcement & First Responders (Lunch Session) - Julie Krawczyk, Cheryl Wattley
Julie Krawczyk, Cheryl Wattley
One in 10 older Americans experience abuse and neglect each year. Abuse reports are increasing, and community resources are limited or declining. Modeled after the California 368+ Elder Abuse & Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law Enforcement, the Elder Financial Safety Center (EFSC) in Dallas, in partnership with UNT Dallas College of Law, has designed a prototype app, or “cheat sheet”, for service providers in the field who suspect elder abuse. The app provides tools, resources, and information to assist and connect vulnerable older adults to community and legal resources. App features include tip sheets for interviewing a victim with memory loss, screen captures displaying bruises and pressure sores, local and state-wide agency resources and contacts, report forms, and more.
Nlets: Top 10 Things You Should Know - Teri Harsin
The International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) plays a very important role in all aspects of law enforcement, as well as business governance. However, it is not uncommon for this role to be misunderstood among the criminal justice community. One major distinction to address this misunderstanding is for law enforcement to know the difference between Nlets and the FBI’s NCIC system. Offering over 150 transaction types, Nlets provides access to a multitude of data that can be used to assist with investigations and the daily duties of law enforcement professionals. This workshop is designed to clarify who owns the data, where the data comes from, and how it can be used. The presenter will exhibit several Nlets network transactions and provide attendees with a visual map displaying what data is available to them in their state and where the data comes from. At the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to identify a minimum of three data sources they are currently able to access via the Nlets network.
“No Face, No Case”: Responding to Witness Intimidation in Domestic Violence Cases - John Guard, Heidi Bonner
John Guard, Heidi Bonner
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. 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.
Not One More: Unique Perspectives on Domestic Violence Homicide - Julie Owens, Christine Brungardt, Kelsey McKay, Neil Schori, Dawn Wilcox
Julie Owens, Christine Brungardt, Kelsey McKay, 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 schools 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 Kelsey McKay will discuss the relationship of strangulation and asphyxiation to homicide. Dr. Christie Brungardt will discuss surviving her daughter’s murder and the national prevention organization that she and her husband subsequently co-founded. Pastoral counselor Neil Schori will share how, before disappearing, a congregant confided to him that her husband had murdered his previous wife, and his experience testifying at the murder trial. Attempted murder survivor/consultant Julie Owens will offer survivor insights and discuss danger assessment, survivor-centered advocacy, and how to support survivors of homicide victims.
No Witnesses? No Problem!: Overcoming Evidentiary Challenges in a Sexual Assault Trial - Tiffany Larsen, Jay Gordon, Ashley Harkness
Tiffany Larsen, Jay Gordon, Ashley Harkness
Cold case sexual assault investigations are difficult, but trying those cases can be even more challenging. Witnesses move away or move along. New laws are passed or interpreted differently. Forensic practices and capabilities change. As time passes, gathering everything and everyone you need for trial can seem impossible. As you work your case up for trial and begin to identify all of the potential evidentiary pitfalls, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. But don’t! Where there is a will there is a way! In this workshop, three experienced sex crimes prosecutors will use real examples that they face of evidentiary challenges in a complex multi-survivor sexual assault trial, including admitting medical evidence without a live witness, overcoming objections to “outsourced” DNA analysis, and supporting the survivor’s memory of the event in an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. Additionally, the presenters will discuss the importance of trauma-informed witness preparation in cold cases with multiple survivors.
The Nuts & Bolts of the Community Advocacy Program - Shelley Reader
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.
Officer-Involved Domestic & Sexual Violence - Mark Wynn
As law enforcement confront danger every day on the job, they should be highly protected from domestic and sexual violence. This workshop is intended to educate service providers about the dynamics and impact of officer-involved domestic and sexual violence. The presenter will explore the historical view of these crimes within the police family, insight into the lack of accurate statistics, and the unique characteristics of conducting investigations. Nationally-established standards for recruiting, training, corrective discipline, and the continued need for implementation of policy will also be discussed.
The Petechial Hemorrhage Court Challenge: Are You Ready? - Bill Smock, Beth Weekley-Fitzgerald, Rachel Fischer
Bill Smock, Beth Weekley-Fitzgerald, Rachel Fischer
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 presenters.
Practical Solutions to the Policing Crisis in Communities of Color & Low-Income Communities - Branville Bard, Dave Thomas, Kristen Roman
Branville Bard, Dave Thomas, Kristen Roman
On May 25, 2020, the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died as a police officer knelt on his neck for nine and a half minutes, reignited a conversation about racism in American policing that sparked nationwide protests. Calls to defund the police reflect a deeply and historically fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve. Reform-minded law enforcement face the question: “How can we utilize practical solutions to both preserve public safety and establish meaningful, lasting racial equity for communities who no longer trust in the justice system?” This workshop will tackle these questions and provide applicable solutions for police department implementation.
Preventing Murder in Slow Motion: Identifying, Assessing & Managing Risk - Laura Richards
Femicide is at an all-time high. In the U.S., 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 domestic abuse allegations reported to the Metropolitan Police Service. Attendees will learn about coercive control behaviors, high risk clusters, and why motivation is vitally important to understand along with the timeline. Also, 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.
Program Development for Survivors of Sex Trafficking & Commercial Sexual Exploitation - Jessica Brazeal
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, 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. This workshop will explore how to account for all of these factors to allow for program development that is trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, and achievement-based.
Prosecutor's Perspective on Changes to Title IX Sexual Assault Investigations - Melissa Hoppmeyer, Kathryn Marsh
Melissa Hoppmeyer, Kathryn Marsh
In August of 2020, Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault investigations moved into unchartered territory by beginning to mirror criminal prosecutions. While this is amendment is unprecedented for colleges and universities, it is old stomping grounds for sexual assault prosecutors who try some of the most challenging cases due to victim blaming and lack of witnesses. Despite there being a great deal of publicity with regard to many changes and policies made by the Department of Education, an area not often discussed are the changes made to Title IX, specifically the substantive changes to the investigations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. When done properly and utilizing the trauma informed methods of sexual assault prosecutions, Title IX investigations can comply with the new rules, while continuing to provide victims with a safe environment to report sexual harassment/assault and seek justice.
Prosecutor's Power: Adult Sexual Assault Team (Lunch Session) - Kim D'Avignon, Emily Dixon
Kim D'Avignon, Emily Dixon
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office’s has started a new specialized unit called the Adult Sexual Assault Team. The lunch session will discuss how to strengthen ties with law enforcement, develop agency and community partnerships in order to better prosecute adult sexual assaults. The presenters will discuss various procedures designed to better serve survivors as well as share informative statistics from the cases during their first year as a unit. Incorporation of trauma- informed prosecution along with techniques for law enforcement to train patrol officers on dealing with the trauma survivors will also be discussed.
Public Trust: Confronting Law Enforcement Sexual Misconduct in the #MeToo Era - Tom Tremblay
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.
Raising the Standard: What to Expect from an Effective On-Scene Investigation - Mark Wynn
This workshop is designed to illustrate how to effectively arrive at a successful investigation with the ultimate goal in mind of victim justice, public safety, and offender accountability. Attendees will be taught six objectives of an on-scene investigation, victim-centered trauma-informed interviewing techniques, victim behaviors and offender motivation. Additionally, this workshop will enable attendees to see the offender manipulation through the eyes of the victim, law enforcement, advocate and its impact. Moreover, this workshop will enhance the participants’ understanding of the power, control and manipulation tactics used against the victim and the service provider as well as probable cause, justifiable self-defense and determining dominant/primary aggressor.
CASE STUDY: Ryan Coleman: Portrait of Serial Rapist Targeting Vulnerable Women - Johna Stallings, Micala Clark
Johna Stallings, Micala Clark
After Ryan Coleman committed a series of serial rapes in Arizona and Texas, he was still able to convince a female judge that he would behave on bond. Once released, he committed two more rapes. Prosecutors spent three weeks painting the portrait of a predator targeting sex workers and women in clubs to jurors in March 2019. The chief Complainant’s history included child sexual abuse, trafficking, and drug addiction, along with trauma from a violent rape at knifepoint by Coleman. Coleman’s predatory history spanned 15 years and resulted in a 70-year prison sentence. Attendees will learn how to present extraneous offenses during cases in chief, handle counselors as expert witnesses, keep out prostitution activities of complainants through Rule 412 and case law, introduce numerous SANE exams and DNA evidence successfully, and present effective punishment evidence.
Screening In: Exploring Evidence-Based, Practical Strategies for Identifying & Responding to Trafficking - Sara Gilmer, Sulan Chang, Erika Gonzalez
Sara Gilmer, Sulan Chang, Erika Gonzalez
The Department 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, 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.
The Shadow of Death: I Fear No Evil, Except the One Who "Loves" Me - Rachael Frost
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. The presenter will not only address emotional and psychological abuse patterns, 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.
SHARPer Image: Creating a Clearer Picture of Stalking Risk - Jennifer Landhuis, TK Logan
Jennifer Landhuis, TK Logan
The Stalking Harassment Assessment & Risk Profile (SHARP) is a free web-based risk assessment tool that provides an assessment of the “big picture” of stalking situations based on the intentional course of conduct, fear, concern for safety and other emotional distress, and unwantedness of the behaviors. This interactive workshop will conduct a SHARP assessment on a case scenario and discuss the ways SHARP can be used to increase victim safety and coordinate strategies to hold offenders accountable. Law enforcement, advocates, prosecutors and other allied professionals are encouraged to attend.
*Restricted to Law Enforcement & Prosecutors* COMPUTER LAB: Social Media Open-Source Intelligence Investigations - Lauren Wagner, Tim Lott
Lauren Wagner, Tim Lott
*PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED* Social media has proliferated into every aspect of our lives, so it makes sense that it has become an important part of every criminal investigation. From finding photos of evidentiary value to confirming linkages between suspects and victims, the online world unlocks new aspects of investigations. This day-long, hands-on lab will go over many aspects of open-source intelligence gathering, and give specific examples of how this intelligence can be relevant to crimes against women investigations. Topics will include general online research, including phone number, address, and email lookups, and searching for and saving data from various social media platforms.
Spyware/Monitoring Software: An Overview of Capabilities & Simple Steps for Finding It - Bryan Franke
There have been many 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 workshop is NOT a forensics class, but is intended to help non-technical professionals address these common concerns shared by too many survivors.
CASE STUDY: State of Washington v. James Bernhard - Maureen Astley, Ashley Lucas
Maureen Astley, Ashley Lucas
What appeared at first to be a medical emergency was later investigated and prosecuted as a brutal spousal rape and sexual assault. The Defendant’s description of what happened was that his wife had a diabetic seizure and suffered a fall while she was in the shower. His wife’s injuries did not comport with his account and eventually her family started asking questions. The State’s theory was that Mr. Bernhard purposefully injected his wife with an overdose of insulin, rendering her unconscious and vulnerable. What made a complicated case even more complicated was the fact that the victim was not cooperative with the prosecution and testified on her husband’s behalf. This case study will discuss details of the case: how it first came to law enforcement’s attention, the steps of the investigation, the service of the search warrant, the results of lab testing, pitfalls and limitations of evidentiary photography, complicated medical testimony, and the process of trial.
Strategies for Success & Sustainability of Your Domestic Violence High Risk Team - Kelly Dunne, Heather Davies
Kelly Dunne, Heather Davies
The Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model is an innovative model to prevent domestic violence homicides. In addition to its primary function, a critical role of a DVHRT is to continuously audit the domestic violence response system to identify and close systemic gaps. 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 a team. 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.
Supervised Visitation: Strategies for Families Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence - Jennifer Rose, Julie Aldrich, Beth McNamara
Jennifer Rose, Julie Aldrich, Beth McNamara
The work of providing supervised visitation for families experiencing intimate partner violence is complex, requires a steady head and heart, and has the ability to support meaningful and lasting change for individuals and families. This workshop will offer a roadmap for communities working to address the visitation needs of survivors and their families. The presenters will provide an overview of the history of visitation, tools for organizational and community readiness, strategies for promising practices that promote safety and healing for individuals and families, and opportunities for funding to support this important service for survivors.
CASE STUDY: Sutherland Springs: First Baptist Church Mass Fatality, Pt. 1 & 2 - Corey Lain, Robert Krupa
Corey Lain, Robert Krupa
This 2-part case study will examine how investigators coordinated and managed the investigation into the unprecedented mass casualty attack in Texas. Attendees will observe how the Incident Command System was employed, and how investigators managed and conducted the investigation at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017. Attendees will also observe how the different crime scenes were processed, and learn from what the Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Rangers could have done better and what worked after the incident.
Survivor Advocates: A Key to the Multidisciplinary Team - Christine Cesa, Marc Wirtz
Christine Cesa, Marc Wirtz
Working with survivor advocates can be complicated, however they are an essential member of the multidisciplinary team. Professionals and allies are encouraged to develop a toolkit to be used while working alongside survivor advocates. During the critical stage of deciding whether they can accept help or not, an individual may connect and respond to a survivor advocate, someone equipped from personal experience, to address 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 they assist. Case studies will be used to illustrate learning points.
Survivor Tips on Sex Trafficking: From the Street, For the Street - Rachel Fischer
Dive into the world of the sex trafficking trade through the eyes of a survivor and now forensic nurse. With her knowledge of the street and medical expertise, the presenter will provide in-depth insight into the language, secrets, terminology, and healthcare implications of sex- trafficked victims. Prosecution and advocacy strategies from a survivor’s perspective will be addressed. Additionally, with strangulation playing a key role in potential prosecutions and life-saving interventions, the crossover of strangulation and sex trafficking will be discussed.
Taking Guns from Domestic Violence Offenders & Keeping Them Away - Jennifer Waindle, David Keck
Jennifer Waindle, David Keck
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.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Attorneys & Case Managers Working Together for Immigration Clients - Kristine Cruz, Sulan Chang
Kristine Cruz, Sulan Chang
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. 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.
Technology Artifact Awareness - John Trenary
For most of human history, everything we interacted with existed in a three-dimensional world. Life was experienced through the physical senses where people and objects interacted physically. The forensic sciences evolve to help investigators make sense of physical clues left behind in a terrestrial world. In a generation, there has been a quantum shift in how people interact with the world around them; surrounded by an invisible fourth-dimension of information technology with which individuals interact every day. Forensic sciences have since evolved to help investigators make sense of the digital clues left behind. This workshop will introduce investigators, advocates, and anyone interested in knowing where truth might be hiding to many of the most common sources of technology evidence. Developing an awareness of technology artifacts helps those who advocate for the truth, advocate more effectively. One cannot seek that which one does not know exists. Additionally, this workshop will arm attendees with an understanding of what technology artifacts might exist related to the crime one may be confronting.
Texas Protective Order Registry: Beyond the Basics - Kim Piechowiak
Protective Orders, often considered to simply be a piece of paper, is actually an effective document that is key to a thorough investigation, prosecution, and accountability for family violence and other crimes, while also enhancing survivor and community safety. In 2019, Texas Senate Bill 325, also known as Monica’s Law, to grant the Texas Office Court Administration (OCA) the authority to create a protective order registry (the Registry). Launched in October of 2020, the Registry provides justice system stakeholders increased access to valuable information regarding both applications and issued protective orders, along with very limited public access. This multidisciplinary workshop will be presented by the Registry’s subject matter expert and trainer, and will highlight how this new resource can be used to heighten awareness, investigation, prosecution, enforcement, and accountability for these violent crimes while enhancing safety for survivors, their families, first responders, and the community at large.
Think Like There is No Box: The Scope of Forensic Nursing - Kaylin Dawson
Many practitioners view forensic examinations only as a simple directional guide for sexual assaults, but there is much more to the exam and how it 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 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.
CASE STUDY: To Mexico & Back: Finding Justice for Izzy and Alek - Lori Nelson, Donna Bloom, Matt Cain, Michael Graves
Lori Nelson, Donna Bloom, Matt Cain, Michael Graves
When Maria Isabel “Izzy” Romero Medina was seeking services related to domestic violence, no one predicted her child’s father, Ricardo Martinez would murder her and abduct their 4-year-old son, Alek. On December 12, 2014, Ricardo brutally murdered Izzy and absconded to Mexico with their son Alek. The aftermath of the murder included an Amber Alert, a rush to find and return Alek from Mexico and working with federal and international law enforcement to bring her murderer to justice. This workshop will walk attendees through the criminal investigation and prosecution, the civil legal process that ensured Alek’s return to safety with family in North Texas, and the many lessons learned along the way.
Trafficking Screening Tool for Latin@s Accessing Domestic Violence Programs - Lumarie Orozco
Paula Gomez Stordy
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.
Trapped! Coercive Control through the Lens of a Survivor Photographer - Katie Amber
While great strides have been made to protect women from intimate partner violence (IPV), the system created to address this crime lacks the in-depth perspective needed to adequately ensure perpetrators are identified and victims protected. This workshop will explore how the strategy and tactics of coercive control, combined with the distorted perpetrator’s lens, traps victims. Through the eyes of both a photographer and survivor, attendees will see how victims are entrapped by coercive control, not only by the perpetrator, but also throughout a system and society that tend to adopt the offender’s lens over the survivor’s. This workshop analyzes different perspectives and offers coercive control as a unifying viewpoint to ending IPV. Using imagery, research, and a review of common lens distortions, the presenter will show how adopting the more accurate and comprehensive perspective of coercive control can inspire innovation, collaboration, and effective solutions that may have been previously invisible.
Tribal Housing: Past, Present, & Future (Lunch Session) - Wyanet Tasker
Indigenous survivors of domestic and sexual violence have experienced a lack of shelter an housing options due to historical policies, legislation, and illness in the U.S. COVID-19 has brought additional revelations and clarity around long-existing gaps and inequities, including access to services and supports. During this lunch session, historical factors will be reviewed with comparison to current practices, barriers, goals, and strengths. The presenter will discuss the process of implementing a housing assessment within your community, and options for next steps to develop or expand current local projects.
CASE STUDY: Triumphs & Tragedies in Using Expert Witnesses - Cynthia Jones, Margaret Bassett, Jason Campo, Florence Nocar, Kim Nguyen Finn
Cynthia Jones, Margaret Bassett, Jason Campo, Florence Nocar, Kim Nguyen Finn
Expert witnesses can be very effective in court for prosecuting violence victimization cases, especially since most people (including jurors) believe pervasive stereotypes about these crimes. However, numerous variables and factors exist beyond the control of prosecutors, such as whether the judge allows testimony, whether there are any jurors who are more skeptical than they appear, the ability of the defense attorney to discount the expert witness’s testimony, etc. This case study will present one successful and one unsuccessful prosecution that utilized expert witnesses and discuss points where, in hindsight, different strategies could have been employed. The intent of this case study is not to blame, but to learn from examples and critically evaluate questions and responses in order to improve the skills of expert witnesses and attorneys.
CASE STUDY: U.S. v. McCauley: Lessons Learned from a Tribal Sexual Assault Investigation & Trial - Lecia Wright
This case study will cover an investigation into a sexual assault on a Native American woman by Anthony McCauley, a Native American male who the victim had little prior history with. The presenters will review the initial investigation, delving into the intricate and complicated ways in which a victim in a small community can feel restricted in her ability to disclose and report a sexual assault. The case study will also cover the entire investigation, to include the FBI investigation and the forensic DNA analysis. The trial will be discussed in detail, including the jury outcome. Even after trial was over, this case continued; the presenters will discuss what steps were taken after the trial and what lessons were learned.
Understanding Narcissism as the Key to Understanding Domestic Abuse & Gender-Based Violence - Ramani Durvasula
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 of Abuse in the Deaf Community - Heather Daley, Wilma Dennis
Heather Daley, Wilma Dennis
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 world. 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 multiple 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
Linda MacDonald, Jeanne Sarson
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, and women can be labeled mentally ill or called “crazy”. In a participatory research questionnaire conducted 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 and first voice drawings done by women in their efforts to illustrate the torture they survived.
Using Code Enforcement to Address Human Trafficking - Dennis Domagas
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 human traffickers are opening businesses disguised as legitimate establishments, allowing them to operate out in the public, next to legitimate businesses and imbed themselves in our 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 these criminals’ efforts to disguise their criminal enterprise as a legitimate business, they have left themselves vulnerable to the issues and expenses that every legitimate business has to deal with: regulation and code enforcement.
Using Gynecological Teaching Assistants to Train Nurses & Advocates (Lunch Session) - Liana Hill, Gail Swafford
Liana Hill, Gail Swafford
A trauma-informed approach is extremely important when communicating with and examining patients who have been assaulted. This lunch session 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, Heather Bellino, Jason Buckner
Kathrina Peterson, Jason Buckner
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. 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 U Visa: A Tool to Support Victims, Communities, & Law Enforcement - Rocio Molina, Jane Anderson
Rocio Molina, Jane Anderson
Immigrant victims of crime are often reluctant to call police for help. Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are further challenged to participate in investigations and prosecutions where they experience immigration-related abuse and threats of deportation. This workshop will explain the intention behind the creation of the U Visa and detail the requirements of any application for immigration relief through the U Visa program. Presenters will provide strategies to improving victim participation by enhancing safety and security while minimizing barriers, fears, and misconceptions. The workshop will provide attendees with access to toolkits, tools, and resources on the U Visa as well as other forms of immigration relief available to crime victims, as well as to the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project web library, online webinars, and technical assistance.
VIRTUAL LAB: VINELink Computer Lab - Karen Adams
This computer lab will be a hands-on demonstration for attendees to search for offender custody status and court case information; register for real-time, automated custody status and court case notifications; and learn how to access VINE’s “Guide Me” tool, a new interactive feature in VINE connecting victims to state and national service providers using intuitive questions. Nationwide, fewer than one in 10 victims of serious violent crime receive assistance from victim service agencies. The VINELink service bridges this gap, enabling victims and survivors to further connect with necessary services using advanced mobile technology.
Voluntary Intoxication: It’s Not Consent for Sex, You Know! - Myra Strand
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 assaults are not reported, but when they are, the 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 also 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
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This law and many state statutes 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 18–the framework of responses and services make a significant shift. This workshop will explore 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) - Doreen Hunter
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 Your Story? Law Enforcement & the LGBTQ+ Community Working Together - Michael Crumrine, Denise Jones
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 that officers are not trained 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, looked for in a heterosexual cisgender relationship may not be the same control tactics used in an LGBTQ+ relationship.
When Predators Take Flight: A Bird's Eye View of Sexual Assault - Scott Hampton
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 Your Gut Tells You Your Patient Isn’t Safe at Home: Legal Solutions to Medical Problems - Amanda Elkanick Oder, Bronwyn Blake
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.
Who is Guilty? Analyzing Culpability in Human Trafficking Prosecutions - Brooke Grona-Robb
Sex trafficking cases often involve suspects who have a role in the organization as both an offender and a victim. When investigators and prosecutors analyze their involvement, it is often difficult to determine who should be charged and what is a just outcome. A potential defendant who is both an offender and a victim raises challenges from the initial encounter, during recovery, and throughout the justice system. This workshop will provide guidance on how to fairly evaluate these situations to achieve justice.
Why Won’t She Listen? How to Effectively Communicate with Survivors & Increase Participation - Jordyn Lawson, Ruth Guerreiro
Jordyn Lawson, Ruth Guerreiro
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.
Witness Intimidation: Eliminating the Payoff - Jane Anderson, John Wilkinson
Jane Anderson, John Wilkinson
Sex trafficking cases often involve suspects who have a role in the organization as both an offender and a victim. When investigators and prosecutors analyze their involvement, it is often difficult to determine who should be charged and what is a just outcome. A potential defendant who is both an offender and a victim raises challenges from the initial encounter, during recovery, and throughout the justice system. This workshop will provide guidance on how to fairly evaluate these situations to achieve justice.
Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children: Mothering, Resilience, & Protecting the Next Generation - Teresa Gil
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 - Melissa Scaia
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. 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. 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.
Would You Recognize a Staged Wound or Crime Scene if You Stepped in One? - Bill Smock
Women are murdered by their intimate partners at an alarming rate. To compound these horrific acts, offenders often times manipulate the crime scene in an attempt to throw investigators off the track by “staging” the homicide. Unfortunately, many offenders get away with murder due to investigational errors. This interactive session will discuss investigational techniques while navigating through a 3D crime scene.
Yesterday I Cried: Exploring the Barriers African American Women Face When Reporting Violence - Ramona Curtis
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than 40% of Black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, compared with 31.5% of all women. This workshop will explore the barriers African American women face when it comes to reporting domestic and sexual violence. It will also explore programming to assist these women in finding their voices in a culture that expects them to be STRONG and ANGRY, yet often find themselves invisible in the discussion of programming and prevention.