The ABCs of Elder Abuse (Lunch Session)
Donna Strittmatter Max
This workshop will give a broad overview of investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases, from physical abuse to financial abuse. The presenter will focus on general principles of elder abuse and discuss how to convert these investigations into prosecutorial action.
The Abuse Continuum: Domestic Violence, Child Sexual Abuse, & Sex Trafficking
Jessica Brazeal, Kelly Slaven
So often, the fields of intervention around domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and sex trafficking operate somewhat, if not completely, independently from one another. Yet when taking a closer look at these issues, there are many of the very same tactics, traits, and patterns of the abuse that occurs in each. This workshop will briefly examine the general components of each category before drawing connections and exploring the progression that occurs within these three systems if left unaddressed. This workshop will also look at the use of power and control as a motivator and the way they are is used in each system to perpetuate cycles of abuse.
The Active Duty Offender: How Local Law Enforcement Can Navigate the Military Footprint When Investigating Crimes Off-Post
Sheilah Priori, Fred Harris
This workshop will discuss the critical necessity of a multidisciplinary team approach when addressing sexual trauma within the ranks of the military. The presenters will provide an overview of investigative approaches for civilian law enforcement agencies that investigate military criminal cases and briefly cover expert witness testimony within the military Courts-Martial. The presenters will share lessons learned from case studies of active duty offenders who committed crimes against civilian victims off-post, including the corroborating efforts, team work, and multidisciplinary approaches used to navigate the military footprint.
Advocacy Services for Survivors on College Campuses
Cynthia Jones, Rachel Voth Schrag, Leila Wood
Sexual assault and dating violence are pressing public health and safety issues on college campuses. To address these issues, more campuses are using collaborative advocacy models to provide support to survivors. Campus-based advocacy, or case management, provides students who have experienced dating violence and sexual assault with resources, information, supportive listening, and safety planning to promote healing, increase safety, and bolster mental, physical, and academic short-term outcomes. While advocacy has been demonstrated to be effective in communities for decades, these practices are newly adapted for college campuses and Title IX requirements. This workshop will review advocacy methods and different ways of adapting and implementing models for college campuses, including collaborating with law enforcement, administration, and local dating violence and sexual assault agencies. Attendees will also learn evidence-based approaches and skills to providing advocacy on college settings and strategies for evaluating the implementation and efficacy of campus-based advocacy. The presenters will share their experiences of implementing programming, providing services, and evaluating approaches, including case examples and policy modifications.
Advocate Networking Lunch
Jessica Brazeal, Kim Farbo, Krista Fultz
Join fellow advocates for networking and an open discussion on current "hot topics" in your field.
Assessing Intimate Partner Violence in the Clinical Setting
This workshop will describe the process of providing comprehensive health care for a patient who has experienced intimate partner violence. The presenter will discuss identification of this patient population and their specialized needs as they relate to: physical assessment, specialized assessments (strangulation, sexual assault, lethality assessments), photo-documentation, evidence collection, and community referrals (advocacy, medical follow up, law enforcement). Case studies will be utilized to highlight an appropriate health care response.
Best Practices in Risk Assessment for Intimate Personal Violence
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a leading cause for women of preventable disease, disability, and premature death. This workshop will provide an overview of risk assessment practices that help officials better manager and combat IPV. The presenter will explore best practices in risk assessment and review the more popular risk and lethality assessment tools, discussing when, how, and why each may be used. While some risk factors are consistently observed across geographies, cultural sensitivity is encouraged as many may vary in different communities and subcultures. Attendees will learn how risk assessment outcomes can help determine the victim’s level of danger, craft an individualized safety plan, flag when professionals may have an ethical duty to inform, determine a victim’s eligibility for services, determine an abuser’s eligibility for intervention programs, and inform appropriate formal or informal interventions.
Beyond SANE: The Full Scope of Forensic Nursing
This workshop will describe how hospital-based SANE programs can expand their practices beyond sexual assault kits to more broadly address the needs of additional forensic patient populations, including intimate partner violence, human trafficking, child and elder maltreatment, and strangulation. Forensic nurses can contribute a wealth of expertise to violence against women investigations and prosecutions due to their unique capacity to provide health care and gather forensic evidence. The presenter will examine the various roles of a forensic nurse, the educational needs of the staff, the role of management, staffing issues, challenges, and benefits by looking at one program's growth from 150 patients per year to over 2,500 patients per year.
Beyond the Obvious: Interpreting Power, Control, & Manipulation
Attendees will learn to see the impact of offender manipulation through the eyes of the victim, law enforcement, and advocates. This workshop will enhance understanding of the power, control, and manipulation tactics used against victims and service providers as well as probable cause, interpretation of injuries, justifiable self-defense, and determining dominant/primary aggressor.
Blueprint for a Safer Future: Creating a State Plan to Support Survivors of Family Violence
Alexandra Cantrell, Molly Voyles, Leila Wood
Looking to infuse research into your services and community collaborations to better meet survivor’s needs? This workshop will explore how creating a State Plan can support your efforts. With survivor voices at the forefront, the systemic development of a State Plan provides an evidence-based blueprint to better understand the needs of survivors and identify gaps across a broad spectrum of services. The 2019 Texas State Plan, undertaken as a collaborative effort between the Texas Council on Family Violence and the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, demonstrates how state and national-level data, along with interviews with survivors and focus groups with advocates, informs this blueprint for service provision. This workshop will focus on steps to conduct your own review of services and discuss broad findings that can apply to communities across the country.
The Body Never Lies: Social Neuroscience & the Effects of Trauma
The reptilian, the mammalian, and the left and the right cerebral cortex are always active. Primitive brain functions remain, epigenetic influences persist, and the social brain is always learning. In collaboration, these truths influence every waking moment. Now, what if a person has experienced trauma? Brain reactions range from a temporary mild change in cognitive function to dissociative episodes. Such reactions are survival-based and rudimentary, and, qualitatively, they are both functional and dysfunctional. This workshop will introduce the neuroscience of trauma and the social neuroscientific consequences of trauma. Attendees will examine interactions with a traumatized person and tactics for building rapport and relationship. The presenter will give an overview of treatment options with an emphasis on the effectiveness of EMDR therapy.
Body-Worn Cameras: Victim-Inclusive Policies & Practices
Meg Garvin, Angela Weekes, John Wilkinson
Law enforcement use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) has significantly increased in recent years as public awareness of and demand for implementation of camera programs has risen. While BWCs can provide helpful evidence in cases involving domestic and sexual violence, their use may also adversely impact victim safety and privacy. Policies and practices need to carefully factor the concurrent needs for transparency in citizen-police encounters, officer safety, and crime victims’ rights and interests. This workshop will discuss considerations that criminal justice system practitioners and allied professionals must keep at the forefront of policy and program development in order to implement effective, victim-centered practices.
"But I'm the Victim!" Assessing Claims of Self-Defense & Other Common Defenses
Michael Milnor, Nancy Oglesby
Too often, domestic violence prosecutions get bogged down in defenses that should not be applied in the first place. Self-defense, along with related doctrines of defense of others and defense of property, are often falsely claimed by defendants. These defenses are often used to admit alleged prior bad acts of a victim, more in an attempt to muddy the waters than to shed light on the facts at issue. Furthermore, the phrase “mutual combat” is frequently raised as a defense, frequently clouding the facts rather than clarifying them. Attendees will become familiar with these doctrines and ways to counter them, with the goal of successfully prosecuting more cases.
The Common Denominator: Teen Dating Violence
Mass murders such as the Parkland, Santa Fe, and Great Mills High School shootings have shown us that power and control dynamics can surface in even the youngest relationships, and teen dating violence is often the common denominator in “unexplainable” tragedies. Between the ages of 16-24, girls experience intimate partner violence at almost 3 times the national average. This is also the age range in which a girl is most likely to be serious injured or even killed by her partner. Knowing the nuances of teen dating violence and how to share this information with teenagers is an imperative part of prevention work and ending the cycle of domestic violence. This workshop will detail specific common abusive dynamics in teen relationships, discuss practical ways to talk about dating violence with teenagers, and explore how to respond to incidents of teen dating violence—and their wide-spread effects—in a protective and effective manner.
The Complex Intersection of Aging & Long-Term Intimate Partner Violence
Women stay in abusive relationships for a wide variety reasons, but what happens when the hope for change in their partner turns into 35 years of abuse? This workshop will focus on the particular barriers for women that are experiencing intimate partner violence later in life, the power and control dynamics that are present, and viewing possible elder abuse through the lens of a pervasive pattern of power and control. This workshop will provide insight on how to advocate and best serve women who are navigating the complex intersection of aging and long-term abusive relationships.
Complex PTSD & First Contact Training: Domestic Sex Trafficking
This workshop will provide valuable information for law enforcement's first contact with potential victims of domestic sex trafficking from a trauma-informed and brain-based approach. This information will help law enforcement develop skills to realize how trauma affects human trafficking victims, recognize the signs of trauma, respond appropriately to human trafficking victims, and not re-traumatize victims. This approach gives an opportunity for trust development where victims are more likely to "cry-out" for help or cooperate. The presenter will provide an understanding of the complexities of how stages of entry into sexual exploitation play in the confusing language used by victims when communicating with law enforcement.
Conducting Financial Investigations in Human Trafficking Cases
Human trafficking is an illicit business and typically involves accompanying financial crimes. Pursuing financial charges in these cases sends a powerful message and can put traffickers out of business for good. Attendees will learn best practices for conducting financial investigations in concert with traditional human trafficking investigations. Local and federal law enforcement strategies will be discussed, as well as an emphasis on collaboration with the Financial Crime Enforcement Network and drafting effective subpoenas for financial institutions.
Corroboration & Use of Forensic Psychophysiological Evidence in Trauma Cases
Myra Strand, Russell Strand
The torn shirt, contusion, presence of semen, or even the sexual assault kit do not always prove that a sexual assault or traumatic event occurred, nor do they clarify the issue of consent or incapacitation. However, what about the nightmares, post-traumatic stress, depression, muscular pain, and fear? Although these examples of forensic psychophysiological evidence do not prove the sexual assault or other interpersonal crime occurred, if corroborated and properly explained, they can provide more evidentiary value in understanding the trauma on those involved. For centuries, the criminal justice system has worked tenaciously to find ways to identify and convict offenders through the use of forensic physical evidence. This workshop will explore how physiological evidence can be identified, preserved, corroborated, analyzed, and presented to take our cases from a one-dimensional to a three-dimensional understanding of the full impact of the crime and the trauma it caused. The presenters will review current forensic psychophysiological knowledge and practices and compare what we think we know with new research.
Cracking the Code: Understanding the Motive of Those Who Batter
Dorthy Stucky Halley, Steve Halley
In this workshop, attendees will learn the differences among those who batter based on motive. Those with difference motives display different behaviors and present different dangers to their victims and community. These differences have eluded professionals and researchers for years, making it difficult to provide an effective response. This workshop provides information that unlocks the mystery of domestic violence and provides practical information that will enhance your response.
Creating a Family Justice Center
Attendees will learn the details of getting a Family Justice Center up and running, from a “twinkle in your eye” to your “grand opening.” The presenter will discuss how to build community buy-in and develop momentum, as well as share resources that the Alliance for Hope has available to help communities open a center. Plenty of time will be allocated for a lively discussion.
The Crime of the 21st Century: Elder Financial Abuse & Security
Julie Krawczyk, Stephanie Martin, Brenda Hull Thompson
Learn about a cutting-edge, first of its kind Center leading the nation in prevention, protection, and prosecution of financial crimes; prevention of financial exploitation, frauds, and scams; and financial security of older adults. The Elder Financial Safety Center (EFSC) is a unique collaboration between The Senior Source, Dallas County Probate Courts, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office serving over 18,000 clients and victims with a financial impact of $78 million, 500 protected incapacitated adults aged 50+, and 1,300 indictments of elder abuse. Attendees will learn how a Center can be developed in any community using models designed by EFSC leadership and a comprehensive, coordinated services plan approach. Presenters will also review how to build strategic alliances and track data that demonstrates impact.
Decoy Operations: Addressing Demand for Sex Trafficking
Melanie Jones, Wesley Jones
This workshop is restricted to law enforcement only. This workshop will discuss the best known practices of implementing basic and advanced decoy operations. Where there is no demand for sex trafficking, there is no supply, and, therefore, no distribution. This workshop will include officer safety tactics for street level, hotel/motel in calls, and pimp reversals. Attendees will learn how to pick appropriate locations and how best to position undercover officers on scene. They will be able to cite specific officer safety practices that will aide them in future reversals aimed to attack the demand and distribution side of sex trafficking.
Denied Justice: How a Minnesota Newspaper Exposed Widespread Failings in Rape Investigations
Jennifer Bjorhus, Renee Jones Schneider, Brandon Stahl, MaryJo Webster
Journalists from the Minneapolis Star Tribune will describe the process and significant impact of their year-long series, Denied Justice, which examined how Minnesota’s criminal justice system repeatedly fails sexual assault victims. The story of one rape survivor who had to endure to repeated failures by police and prosecutors before she was able to get justice prompted the Star Tribune to obtain more than 1,500 police reports throughout the state. More than 100 women were also interviewed; many described harrowing, traumatic incidents, only to be severely traumatized by police and prosecutors who they felt tossed them aside. The impact from the series started from nearly the day the first story ran, with lawmakers and law enforcement leaders immediately calling for significant reforms to address the myriad of failings exposed. This series has positive implications for a generation of assault victims, police, prosecutors, and advocates. Attendees will learn how journalism can be a positive force for change for sexual assault victims, as well as how law enforcement and advocates can help reporters better understand the criminal justice system. The presenters will review what reporters are looking for when deciding what issues to cover, and factors that led to this series rising to the top of the Star Tribune's priorities.
Domestic Violence High Risk Team Model: The Basics & Beyond
Heather Davies, Kelly Dunne
The Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model is a nationally-recognized intimate partner homicide prevention model. The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center developed the Model in 2005, and building on local successes, it has since been replicated in communities throughout the country. The Model incorporates evidenced-based practices, including the use of the Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement risk assessment tool to identify cases that are at high risk for lethality, as well as a multidisciplinary approach to enhance victim safety and offender accountability. This workshop will include a comprehensive overview of the DVHRT Model and the research at its foundation. The role of risk assessment in IPH prevention will also be covered. DVHRT member roles and responsibilities will be discussed, and attendees will hear about the adaptations and successes in other communities nationwide.
Drugs as Coercion: Human Trafficking & Toxicology
Traffickers often introduce their victims to drugs and alcohol to facilitate their crimes and establish additional control. Understanding toxicology allows law enforcement, prosecutors, and medical professionals to recognize how drugs and alcohol affect victims’ abilities to disclose, participate in the criminal justice system, and process trauma. Attendees will learn to identify drug-facilitated human trafficking, provide much needed care, and educate other allied professionals about the effects of drug use in the context of trafficking dynamics.
Eight Common Myths About Men Who Batter: Why They Still Matter
How do offenders of intimate partner abuse avoid detection and accountability? The presenter will review eight common myths of abusers that contribute to this, as well as misunderstandings about victims. He will discuss how the system’s heightened IQ about offenders creates better outcomes for offenders, victims, and children. The profile of abusers will include research findings about the 10 most common excuse-making strategies employed by abusers and how these can best be countered by domestic violence service providers. A discussion of parenting problems exhibited by abusers will be useful for child welfare workers, child custody evaluators, and judges. This deeper insight about abusers provides tools for those who advocate for victims to help potential intervenors recognize underlying traits of abusers and to avoid being manipulated.
Elder Abuse Investigations: Practical Tools & Strategies
Ann Laatsch, Jane Walsh
Communities often struggle to identify, respond to, and prevent elder abuse. Factors such as ageism, family dynamics, fear, isolation, health concerns, and financial constraints can inhibit an older victim’s ability or willingness to report abuse. Furthermore, in many communities, there is a lack of funding to address elder abuse and provide services to victims. In response to these issues, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, with a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, has partnered with detectives and prosecutors from across the country to develop "Elder Abuse Investigations: Advanced Training for Law Enforcement". During this workshop, the presenters will offer a condensed version of the advanced curriculum, focusing on law enforcement response and the unique characteristics of elder abuse cases, with an emphasis on victim safety and offender accountability. This interactive workshop will engage attendees by inviting them to apply investigative skills and strategies to a real-life case.
Empathy-Based Interrogation (Pt. 1 & 2)
Michael Milnor, Nancy Oglesby
Suspects often want to sell you a story, especially in sexual assault and domestic violence investigations. Traditional interrogation methods teach investigators to dominate the interview with interruptions and confrontation, often with the sole focus being to elicit a confession. This method often shuts a suspect down and the opportunity for leads and information is lost. Empathy-Based Interrogation teaches an interview method that lets the suspect tell their story in a free-flowing, conversational manner, thereby developing leads and information in addition to confessions.
Engaging Administration: Why They Really Need to Pay Attention to Title IX
Amy Pennington, Thomas Pennington
This workshop will discuss recent occurrences of university administrators departing from their positions when prior misconduct by university employees is alleged.
Enhancing Access to Justice: Improving System Response to Intimate Partner Violence
Bethany Backes, Maggy McGiffert, Elyssa Schroeder, Molly Voyles
The criminal justice and child welfare response are two of the most critical supports to ending intimate partner violence, but survivors face many obstacles when seeking support from these systems. This workshop will discuss the needs of survivors from criminal justice and child welfare systems responses, as determined by 150 survivor interviews and data surrounding service use and crime reporting. Accessibility, lack of sensitivity to dynamics of intimate partner violence, and conflicting messages present barriers to safety and justice. Implications for improving survivor engagement and system access to criminal justice, community-based, and child welfare providers will be discussed. Recommendations for best practices for criminal justice and child welfare systems that facilitate engagement will be provided, with collaborative time between presenters and attendees to tailor action steps for their communities.
Ethical Investigation & Prosecution of Sexual Assault Crimes
Justin Boardman, Julie Germann
Attendees will engage in an open and real conversation with a former prosecutor and detective to discuss certain questions that come up during sexual assault cases in the justice system. For example, when do you decide to shut down an investigation? When do you ask for a second opinion on a declination? Should every known suspect case be taken and screened with the prosecution? There will be time allowed for respectful dialogue on each subject. The presenters and attendees will think through hard questions, push some boundaries, and figure out how to provide victim-centered justice in even the most complicated sexual assault cases.
Exploring the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Disability, & Trauma
Cynthia Amodeo, Jules Perkel
If you've ever thought, “My organization doesn't treat people with disabilities,” you do! People with disabilities include those with mental health, medical, physical, sensory, cognitive, and developmental conditions. According to the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer domestic violence and sexual assault than women without disabilities, and women with disabilities report abuse that lasts longer and is more intense.” This workshop will explore how interpersonal violence affects individuals with disabilities and the barriers they face to seeking services and safety. Attendees will explore reasons people with disabilities stay in an abusive relationship and how the trauma of abuse affects their decision to leave.
Flint Town: Cold Case Sexual Assault in a Murder Town
In its heyday, the Flint Police Department had 300 sworn police officers in a city of 200,000 citizens. By 2010, Flint had 88 sworn officers, desperately trying to police a city of 100,000 angry and distrustful citizens. Crime exploded. 15 murders a year became 50, 20 forcible rapes became 100, and hundreds of sexual assault victim's stories were buried in shelved sexual assault kits, destined to remain unsolved, un-investigated and un-prosecuted until the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative stepped in. This workshop will discuss the riveting stories behind Flint's untested sexual assault kits: giving voice to the victims of Flint's unspeakable crimes and highlighting how trauma-informed prosecution can heal trauma, restore dignity, and bring justice to victims of sexual assault.
Forfeiture by Wrongdoing: A High-Level Trial Strategy to Combat Witness Intimidation
Dalia Racine, John Wilkinson
Forfeiture by wrongdoing can, when supported by a thorough investigation, blunt the impact of witness intimidation. This workshop will take a deep-dive into the doctrine beyond the basic elements necessary to establish forfeiture, by exploring the details that will allow the prosecutor to make maximum use of this tool. The presenters will include lessons the AEquitas initiative Combating Witness Intimidation.
From Tragedy to Triumph: One Family's Story (Lunch Session)
Christie Brungardt, Curt Brungardt
The presenters established Jana’s Campaign, Inc. with the single mission of reducing domestic and dating violence, and they believe it is their responsibility to use both the story of their daughter Jana’s life and her death to enhance their mission. They have worked with thousands of students, educating them on how to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.
From Voir Dire to Verdict: Strategic Prosecution of Strangulation-Related Crimes
Laws being passed nationally recognize the danger and lethality of perpetrators who strangle their victims. While these statutes give prosecutors the ability to hold offenders more accountable, they are often stifled by a misunderstanding of the evidence. This workshop will explore how to strategically prosecute strangulation offenders by providing tips on jury selection and trial approaches. The presenter will discuss how to recruit and develop medical experts to help juries understand this complicated crime, the overlap with sex crimes, and the effectiveness of prosecuting this offense with a trauma-informed perspective. Finally, this workshop will discuss how to overcome common defenses such as lack of external visible injury, rough sex, and "if she could talk she could breathe."
Frustrations of Victims & Service Providers: Traumatic Brain Injury, Cognitive Disabilities, & Intimate Partner Violence
Living with a cognitive disability can make one vulnerable to victimization and create barriers to accessing services. But what happens when victimization itself leads to a decrease in cognitive ability and increased isolation? Brain injury poses a specific threat to victims of intimate partner violence and makes it increasingly difficult to access services. This workshop will discuss the short and long-term effects of head injury, including Traumatic and Subtle Brain Injury; heightened risk for intimate partner homicide; and specific implications for effective safety planning.
Gender Expansive Expertise
At birth, our gender is assigned based upon our sex organs. Thus begins our unwitting attachment to a false dichotomy—male and female. Yet gender diversity has always existed; despite societal expectations of this binary, biology thrives on variation. Society struggles with gender variation, as noted by the disproportionately high rates of discrimination and violence against transgender (trans) persons. Attempted suicide rates are 41% for trans persons, compared to 1.6% for cisgender persons. A 2013 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs finds that of victims of anti-LGBT homicide 72% were trans women, of which 62% were trans women of color, and trans people of color were six times more likely to experience physical violence from police than that of white cisgender persons. Rates of sexual violence for trans persons are 170% higher than that of cisgender persons. During this interactive workshop, attendees will increase their gender expansive expertise with new knowledge and skills to better understand and work with transgender and gender nonconforming populations.
Getting on the Same Page with Trafficking Shelters
Law enforcement and system advocates may sometimes feel they are working at cross purposes with shelter operators. Why do they cut off access to OUR victim? She wouldn't have run if she had been supervised...don't they know this blows the whole case? This workshop will address how agendas may differ and offers concrete ways that both sides can move closer together. Based on over a decade of working with agencies referring victims of trafficking into a residential shelter program, the presenter will provide guidance on how to improve this vital relationship. Discussion will include questions referrers should ask prior to placement, how to facilitate communications during placement, and how to create a shared plan for various forms of program exit.
Google & Alexa: What You Didn't Know Was Out There
Justin Fitzsimmons, Lauren Wagner
With the rise of Digital Assistants (OK Google and Alexa), internet service provider's are storing an unbelievable amount of data. Everyone with a Google account has access to a robust history of information through Google Dashboard, My Activity, and Google Takeout. While most of this history and tracking information can be disabled or deleted, much of it is on by default and users are not aware to go delete it. This reality makes Google Dashboard, My Activity, and Google Takeout powerful tools for law enforcement if they can convince a suspect to hand over the login credentials to their Google Accounts on consent. This workshop will address both how to access this data and legal considerations associated with Google user data. The presenters will also explain how to create advanced searches using Google, identifying the information you are really looking to find, and avoiding information noise.
Happy Lives & Healthy Careers: Thriving in Public Safety
The need for one-on-one or group interventions after dealing with traumatic events is important to keep first responders physically and mentally healthy. The mental fatigue of these investigations can no longer be swept under the rug, but must be dealt with in order to prevent career ending mistakes, divorce, and suicides. Studies have shown that those who are reluctant to seek psychological help are often willing to discuss issues with peer support teams. This workshop will cover the dynamics of dealing with traumatic incidents/investigations and how to mentally/emotionally survive the aftermath. The presenters will also cover the basics of setting up peer support teams and how to select your team members. This workshop will be presented by two experienced law enforcement officers, however, the topic is timely and relevant for anyone involved in traumatic investigations. This is a serious topic, but the presenters will keep the class engaged and laughing.
Helping Survivors Help Themselves: Supporting Self-Represented Survivors Navigating the Legal System (Lunch Session)
Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) is one of the only legal organizations in the country to offer virtual legal clinics and Assisted Pro Se service to survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Through the Assisted Pro Se services, survivors work with program advocates and TAP attorneys to receive customized legal documents and ongoing legal advice as they represent themselves in court proceedings for divorces, protective orders, or custody and visitation suits. In this workshop, we will discuss best practices and how to duplicate these services in your community!
A Holistic Approach Towards Translating Trauma (Pt. 1 & 2)
This workshop will provide a holistic understanding and greater appreciation for why victims of interpersonal violence display the reactions that they do during and after experiences of trauma. Attendees will learn how to apply trauma-informed care for these victims in legal and clinical settings.
Pt. 1 will provide a new definition of trauma from a neurobiological perspective; identify biological defensive strategies that victims of trauma use; discuss neurobiological processes that underlie trauma reactions and responses; and review how traumatic stress can impact memory processes. Attendees will be introduced to an ecological systems framework to further understand the impact of societal, cultural, community, and familial factors upon victims of interpersonal violence and their neurobiological reactions to trauma experiences.
In Pt. 2, attendees will learn concrete and practical strategies to approach their work with trauma survivors in criminal justice and mental health settings that incorporate an understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and ecological systems theory. The presenter will discuss social science research that suggests traditional cognitive-behavioral treatment may not be the best fit for trauma survivors, particularly sexual assault survivors, and how a neurobiological somatic/body-centered approach to working with trauma survivors can promote transformative healing and recovery above and beyond symptom reduction.
Holistic Legal Advocacy: Successfully Obtaining Civil Legal Remedies for Survivors
Neva Fernandez, Erin Martinson
This workshop will provide a roadmap to a holistic approach to representing survivors. Attendees will learn the value of integrating advocates into a legal practice to ensure that victims’ rights are upheld and survivors can achieve safety and justice. The presenters have used this approach to obtain protective orders for hundreds of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking across the state of Texas. This workshop will discuss the benefits of an approach that pairs an advocate/social worker with an attorney to help facilitate the survivor in making informed and empowered decisions in a trauma-informed way, as well as equip attorneys with practical tools to assist survivors navigating a system built around the rights of the defendant. The presenters will share forms for screening for and filing domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking protective orders and for crime victims' assertion of rights.
How Bias & Prejudice Prevent Help Seeking by Survivors of Color
This workshop will explore the difference between bias and prejudice and how personal and institutional biases impact services to communities of color. Attendees will discuss how VAWA has improved services to communities of color in the past 20 years and what still needs to be done to improve the justice system response and advocacy services for battered women of color. Attendees will identify reasons why survivors of color do not rely on the civil and criminal justice systems and/or may not access mainstream advocacy services.
How Technology-Based Evidence Can Turn Your Investigation Around
Technology is ever-present in many crimes in today's world. This workshop will give several case examples in which technology-based evidence either enhanced or actually changed the direction of the investigation. The focus will be on identifying the benefits that were obtained by including digital evidence in the overall investigation. Attendees will learn where digital evidence resides and hides; how it enhances the investigation; and how to document it for later prosecution.
A How-To on Building & Sustaining In-House Civil Legal Representation (Lunch Session)
Sara Barnett, Julia Palmer
Lack of civil legal representation is a significant barrier that can lead many women to remaining in abusive relationships and marriages. Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support created an in-house, on-site legal clinic to help remove this roadblock on clients’ paths to living abusive free lives. The legal clinic provides free, quality, and trauma-informed family law representation. Join Genesis’ Legal Director and Director of Corporate & Foundation Relationships for an discussion on what it takes to fund, develop, and staff in-house legal services and how attendees can do the same in their own organization and communities.
Human Trafficking & Strangulation
Rachel Fischer, Kelsey McKay
Strangulation is known for its manipulative effectiveness to gain powerful control over a victim and its frequent overlap with sexual perpetration. This workshop will discuss the often-missed opportunity to identify the co-occurrence of strangulation, suffocation, and drowning in human trafficking cases, where there is a layered risk of frequent and repeated forms of asphyxiation of victims by both the pimp and the john. Pimps strangle to gain necessary compliance and control over a trafficked person. Despite the severe traumatic impact, human trafficking curriculums and screening tools fail to capture the existence and effect of this particular type of assault. Rarely do survivors receive medical assessment, treatment, or care to address the specific risks associated with human trafficking. These forces need to be more proactive in looking for, identiftoxiying, collaborating, and preventing this type of violence. Identification of these events will enable law enforcement and the medical communities to better serve this vulnerable population.
I Made It A.O.B.: Gangs & Pimping
Jabari Howard, Cara Pierce
Pimps are glorified on social media, movies and in music, and more and more gang members are realizing how much money can be make by selling girls and women for sex. Because human trafficking is low risk for the pimp, and victims are a renewable resource that can be sold over and over again, more gang members are working together to traffick large numbers of women and girls. Over half of the pimps prosecuted federally in Dallas/Ft. Worth over the last six years are documented gang members, and the numbers are increasing. The presenters will discuss how this generation of gang pimps uses rap music and social media to recruit victims and brag about their pimping. They flash money, designer clothes and fancy cars, and a promise of a better life to young, desperate women, who are quickly trapped in a dangerous situation they can't escape.
I Take It Back: Investigating Recantations
Myra Strand, Russell Strand
Child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of interpersonal violence can be extremely difficult cases for the criminal justice system to successfully prosecute, many times due to the victim recanting their initial complaint. How does a recantation generally impact the outcome of an investigation or prosecution of that case? Unfortunately, a recantation most often results in a closure of an investigation, refusal to prosecute, and false complaint charges against the victim when it may not be warranted. All too often, improper case determinations can be devastating and have a chilling impact on the criminal justice system; there are significant consequences when case determinations are improperly made based on recantations alone. Many recantations are actually false, and victims recant for a variety of reasons. A case determination should not be made until a proper investigation of the recantation has been conducted. This workshop will assist criminal justice professionals in understanding many of the dynamics surrounding recantations and discuss investigative techniques to determine if the recantation itself is true or false.
I Watch from the Shadows: Working with Children Who are Impacted by Violence
Jason Forgash, Michelle Heater
Children are masters of observing the world around them. Although children are limited in their ability to process and fully articulate what they are seeing and hearing, traumatic events are stored away in their brains. This is further complicated when their caregivers are the perpetrator and victim of violence. It is vital that investigators, advocates, and service providers understand the impact witnessing domestic violence can have on children, as well as the additional challenges faced when working with underserved populations. This workshop will address the impact of traumatic DV during various developmental stages and the added impacts on children of immigrants and those with challenges in abilities. Information regarding ACEs will be discussed to examine potential outcomes of the children, as well as to provide a framework for working with the caregivers. The presenters will share how to reduce barriers for survivors, including short- and long-term therapeutic interventions, and how a multidisciplinary response can benefit both the victim and the responders accustomed to working adult crimes.
The Impact of Trauma on Black Women's Criminalization: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Improving Community Response
Afua Addo, Carlotta Walcott
This workshop will review the impact of complex and vicarious trauma while providing research-based evidence of the criminalization of Black women and girls. Attendees will gauge their knowledge of the assets and needs of justice-involved survivors of domestic and sexual violence through interactive exercises, as well as develop tools for responding to the population’s trauma responses and identify strategies to help sustain positive self-care practices. This workshop will discuss lessons learned from the Center for Court Innovation's work on Project SAFE, an OVW-funded initiative that addressed the intersections of trauma, race, gender, and sexuality and has worked to improve services and community response to this population.
In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
In Her Shoes is a simulation experience designed for attendees to experience firsthand the hurdles and roadblocks that a survivor of domestic violence faces in her life. A powerful community education tool, this workshop was developed in 2000 by the Washington Coalition on Domestic Violence. Attendees will build empathy and understanding for the realities that a survivor faces in trying to live a life free from violence and abuse.
In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence Below the Poverty Line
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
In Her Shoes: Economic Justice is a simulation experience designed for attendees to experience firsthand the hurdles and roadblocks that a survivor of domestic violence faces in her life and how those barriers are compounded by economic difficulties. A powerful community education tool, this was developed in 2000 by the Washington Coalition on Domestic Violence. Attendees will build empathy and understanding for the realities that a survivor faces in trying to live a life free from violence and abuse.
In Her Shoes: Living with Teen Dating Violence
Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
In Her Shoes: Teen Dating Violence is a simulation experience designed for attendees to experience firsthand the hurdles and roadblocks that teen survivor of domestic and dating violence face. A powerful community education tool, this workshop was developed in 2000 by the Washington Coalition on Domestic Violence. Attendees will build empathy and understanding for the realities that teen survivors face in trying to live a life free from violence and abuse.
In Our Backyard: Legal & Clinical Insights on Forced Marriage & Female Genital Mutilation
Survivors of forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) suffer from significant physical and psychological trauma as children or young adults due to abuse by their parents and relatives. As adults, they often fail to receive the services and protections they need to heal and remain safe in the United States because these issues are frequently viewed as cultural practices, not as forms of gender violence. This workshop will provide insight into the power and control dynamics, tactics, and warning signs present in forced marriage and FGM situations, as well as best practices for responding to the diverse and urgent needs of potential victims and survivors.
In the Suspect's Own Words: Combating the Consent Defense
Michael Crumrine, Kim Farbo
Sexual assault investigations and prosecutions are among the most challenging a detective or prosecutor will conduct in his or her career. Given the common delays in reporting these crimes, traditional forms of corroboration such as medical and physical evidence may be limited or non-existent in some cases. Sometimes the best and only evidence in these cases is what the suspect provides in their own words. For example, tapping into the digital life of the offender, crafting search warrants for tech devices, and conducting pre-text (one party consent) communications are just a few of the ways to develop evidence to determine, from the suspects' own mouth, if the actions of the suspect were consented to. This workshop will lay a foundation for successfully investigating and prosecuting non-stranger sexual assault and provide attendees with techniques for overcoming the “consent defense” by utilizing electronic evidence correctly.
Increasing Victim & Officer Safety: Assessing Threats of Domestic Violence Perpetrators (Pt. 1 & 2)
Doug Burig, Mark Wynn
Domestic violence calls are inherently challenging for responding officers and the relationship between perpetrators of domestic violence and officers killed in the line of duty is indisputable. Based on principles presented in the Department of Justice guidance Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, this workshop will explore agency efforts that may help to increase officer safety when responding to calls for service. It is imperative that responding officers better understand perpetrators of domestic violence and the control tactics used on victims and law enforcement. The presenters will highlight effective agency policies and procedures that should be in place to ensure that domestic violence complaints are properly documented, cases are fully investigated, and offenders are held accountable. Thoroughly investigating these calls can potentially increase safety for victims and responding officers as well as officers who may later return to the scene.
Initial Management of Social Media & Mobile Devices for Domestic Violence Investigations
This workshop will provide attendees with essential information to properly identify and collect potential sources of digital evidence, social media, and related network data. Proper management of this data can greatly improve outcomes in violence against women investigations and prosecutions.
Institute for Coordinated Community Response Overview (Lunch Session)
This workshop is available to rural Texas counties only. Learn more about the Institute for Coordinated Community Response (ICCR), CCAW’s new free, year-long training institute for rural Texas counties who are seeking to improve their systemic response to domestic violence through the creation of a Coordinated Community Response. Six teams of three—a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, and advocate—will be selected to participate each year. Attendees will have ample time for Q&A.
Interactive Domestic Violence Crime Scene (Pt. 1 & 2)
Ray Goins, Ronnie Johnson
In this hands-on workshop, attendees will watch a live role play of a domestic violence incident and be put in the shoes of the responding officers on the scene. Attendees will also interact with and interview the parties related to the incident, including the reporting person. Additionally, the presenters will complete a crime scene investigation of the incident.
The Intersection of Interpersonal Violence & Pregnancy
Khara Breeden, Kelsey McKay
Pregnancy becomes a complicated subject when intersecting with violence against women.This workshop will discuss the impact of pregnancy, or the threat of pregnancy, on victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking, as well as the fetus. From pregnancy that occurs during the sexual assault to birth control coercion and forced abortion, understanding the dynamics of pregnancy and violence against women will better prepare attendees to manage their medical issues, work their legal investigations, and prosecute these difficult cases. The presenters will also review laws and creative prosecution strategies for violence related to pregnancy.
Intimate Partner Homicide: Solving Cold Cases with an Evidence-Based Interview Strategy
Violent acts against women in the U.S. are often unwitnessed and unreported, drastically decreasing the solvability of these types of cases, which results in many cold cases. But what happens when investigators re-interview suspects in cold case intimate partner homicides? What should your suspect interview strategy look like in 2018 vs. the strategy used 20 years ago? How does an interview strategy based on 2018 legal parameters and cutting-edge research solve the cold case homicide of today? This workshop will include the case example of Tait Purt, an 18-year-old who murdered his then girlfriend, Cora Okonski, whose body was never found. With extremely limited physical evidence, attendees will learn how investigators use enhanced cognitive interview skills, social influence techniques, and the strategic use of evidence to find justice for Cora and her family.
Intimate Partner Violence & Digital Abuse
Bronwyn Blake, Amanda Elkanick Oder
In an age when it is easier than ever for abusers to use technology and communication tools to control, stalk, and harass victims, it is important for community members to understand how the law defines these crimes. This workshop will identify the laws and remedies available to protect survivors and discuss practices for safety planning around technology.
Intimate Partner Violence & Military Sexual Trauma in Veteran Treatment Courts
Amanda Elkanick Oder
Veteran Treatment Courts (VTCs) provide invaluable resources and treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other mental health issues as a result of their service. It is becoming more common for intimate partner violence to be accepted into these courts. This workshop will focus on best practices for accepting these cases into VTCs, consideration of survivors through this process, and national and state resources.
Intro to Basic Tactical Medicine
Attendees will be introduced to situations they may encounter in their work and personal life and be introduced to "what if" active threat scenarios. The techniques and tools recommended for various injury scenarios will address treating life-threatening injuries in an environment with limited equipment, possible lack of medically trained personnel, and an unknown medical evacuation time period. The presenter will also discuss certain successes in recent mass casualty events, such as controlling external bleeding with improvised or manufactured tourniquets. This workshop is appropriate not only for law enforcement officers, but for civilians as well.
Investigating & Prosecuting Physical & Financial Elder Abuse (Pt.1 & 2)
Laura Cook, Donna Strittmatter Max, Stephanie Martin
Financial and physical abuse cases often require the assistance of a victim to prosecute, which may seem impossible with an elderly victim who is mentally declining. Investigators and prosecutors will learn to identify different types of victims and when and if a victim is even necessary for prosecution. The presenters will focus on common schemes and frauds most communities face and how to effectively present financial abuse cases in the courtroom and learn about how to advocate for victims dealing with financial crime. They will also identify unique types of physical abuse and neglect cases that are often overlooked as crimes against the elderly. In addition, this workshop will walk attendees through the accessible, victim-centered approaches at the heart of the updated Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud. Learn specific and concrete action steps that can be taken, along with a multitude of resources available to victims, while investigating and building a case for prosecution of elder abuse.
Investigating & Prosecuting Stalking in Tribal Communities
Leslie A. Hagen
American Indian/Alaska Natives (AIAN) experience stalking at higher rates than any other ethnic or demographic group in the U.S. According to research conducted by the National Institute of Justice, nearly 49% of AIAN women and almost 19% of men have experienced stalking in their lifetime. Stalking can be a terrifying crime and in tribal communities, a response to the offense is typically complicated as multiple jurisdictions may have the legal authority to investigate and prosecute the crime. This workshop will address Indian Country criminal jurisdiction, federal and tribal stalking laws, victim safety, developing a collaborative, multijurisdictional response, and tips and tools for investigating and prosecuting these crimes.
Investigating Aquatic Crimes Against Women & Homicidal Drowning (Pt. 1 & 2)
“Body found in water” cases are some of the most misdiagnosed deaths worldwide. We are missing more homicidal drowning cases than we are recognizing, and more than 80% of the adult victims are women. Women aged 45-50 years are the most common victims of intimate partner homicides staged as accidental or suicidal bathtub deaths. Unfortunately, law enforcement and death investigators are rarely trained in aquatic homicides and aquatic torture; they do not have the support of specialized investigators as in fire, plane, and vehicle deaths. This lack of training, compounded by assumptions of accidental drowning, results in far too many offenders left to commit multiple similar crimes. This presentation provides attendees with the basics of aquatic death and torture investigations with women as the victims.
Investigating Strangulation & Suffocation Crimes
Felony statutes recognizing the lethality and seriousness of strangulation assaults have been passed in the majority of states. Stiffer laws recognize the gravity of this form of violence and its ability to predict future homicides, both for domestic violence victims and police officers. However, the criminal justice system has failed to implement necessary protocols or training to provide police officers guidance to investigate and collect the unique evidence necessary to hold these violent offenders accountable. As a result, many cases are rejected for prosecution and law enforcement is left without guidance. Attendees will learn to overcome common challenges strangulation presents, including lack of external injury, lack of victim, and missed and misunderstood evidence. This workshop will walk police and first responders through the implementation of the Strangulation Supplement and provide tips on how to conduct a quality strangulation investigation.
Islam, Domestic Violence, & Unique Considerations When Dealing with Muslim Victims
This workshop will give an in-depth view of Islam's perspective on domestic violence from numerous angles. Attendees will look at misconceptions, as well as Islamic prescriptions, for dealing with physical and emotional violence towards women. The presenter will then discuss unique considerations when dealing with Muslim victims based on statistics and case studies and how to help Muslim women in abusive marriages that are restricted by cultural norms sometimes laced in Islamic language.
Justice for All: Culturally Sensitive Responses to Minority Victims of Domestic Violence
Khara Breeden, 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. Attendees will examine their biases as it relates to minority victim populations, understand the importance of filing and litigating protective orders, and explore the role of culturally specific advocacy.
The Kavanaugh Effect
Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, the nomination process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has had and will have a significant impact on sex crimes prosecutions throughout this country. The divisive nature of the proceedings, the use of a sex crimes prosecutor by the Senate Judiciary, and the victim’s delayed report has caused wariness and skepticism in the general public (our venire). How prosecutors talk to jurors, uncover any juror bias, and generally present evidence must factor into these proceedings. The presenter will advise and explore strategies and possible pit falls for prosecutors, post-Kavanaugh. The presenter will also discuss the impact of the Weinstein allegations, Cosby’s charge and conviction, #MeToo movement, and other high profile sexual misconduct allegations has on investigations, charging, pre-trial preparation, and trying these cases.
Know More, Do More: Identifying & Responding to Stalking Crimes
Bob Frechette, Jennifer Landhuis
Victims of stalking often report feeling discounted by the systems designed to assist them. Despite the prevalence of stalking—a crime affecting some 6-7.5 million people at some time in their lives—law enforcement is often hampered by lack of training and resources to address the crime of stalking in a comprehensive manner. Attendees will learn ways to identify and respond to stalking either as a stand-alone issue or as it intersections with domestic violence and sexual assault. Attendees will identify the prevalence of stalking, understand the relationship between individuals who are being impacted by stalking and their offender, identify the patterns of behavior that occur in stalking cases, become familiar with the various technologies utilized by stalking offenders, and discuss effective investigation strategies.
Law Enforcement Networking Lunch
Doug Burig, Fred Harris, Mark Wynn
Join fellow law enforcement professionals for networking and an open discussion on current "hot topics" in your field.
Law Enforcement’s Role in Supporting Crime Victim Access to Compensation
Fred Fletcher, Caroline Huffaker
Law enforcement plays an important role in supporting crime victims’ access to victim compensation. As first responders, investigators, and executives, law enforcement can ensure victims receive information about financial assistance programs. This workshop will discuss available resources and strategies for improving law enforcement’s knowledge and understanding of crime victim compensation as well as real-world examples of how the program works.
Lightning Session: Five Sexual Assault Topics in 90 Minutes
Do you want solid information fast? This workshop will provide an information packed, fast-paced overview of five important sexual assault topics: Grooming, Deception Cues, Trauma and Memory, Juvenile Perpetrators, and Lessons from the Zoo. Essential information will be presented on each topic and accompanied by handouts which provide extended information. Join us for a "TED talk" on steroids.
Living With the Memories
People working crimes against women and children see and hear many things they would rather not. These memories can have a disturbing effect on professionals and their families. Based on his 46 years experience working in criminal justice, the presenter will explain what's behind the secondary trauma of working these cases and provides simple but effective steps we can take to help us live with these stories and images. You owe it to yourself and your family to attend this workshop.
Man2Man: A Conversation with Men about Gender Violence
This workshop will first explore the harmful, violent aspects of masculinity and the ways some men use their privilege to exert power and violence on others. Sharing the story of his step-daughter, Jana Mackey, a 25-year-old University of Kansas law student who was murdered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend in 2008, the presenter calls on men and boys to be part of the solution of gender based violence. This workshop will discuss the root causes of violence against women: fundamental conditions of gender inequality, and the harmful and controlling aspects of masculinity. Learn why men and boys must be called on to redefine masculinity, intervene when necessary, and to be a positive role model for others.
A Matter of Life & Death: Reporting Protective Orders & Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence
The November 5, 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, which left 26 people dead and 20 others injured, demonstrated the serious consequences that can result from the lack of proper reporting of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (MCDV). It is estimated that over half of incidents such this involve perpetrators with links to domestic violence. Low-level family violence cases are often the first time the justice system is alerted to a potentially deadly situation, but are often not required by law to be entered into the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS). Unfortunately, many states do not label these domestic violence crimes as such, causing delays or failure in making timely firearm transfer determinations. In addition, the process of reporting protective orders continues to present challenges. This workshop will explore obstacles to reporting and strategies for ensuring that MCDVs and Protective Orders are included in the systems that are designed to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic violence offenders before it is too late.
Medical Networking Lunch
Stacey Mitchell, Kim Nash
Join fellow medical professionals for networking and an open discussion on current "hot topics" in your field.
Mental Health Diagnoses 101: A Beginner's Guide To Common Mental Health Disorders & Their Relationship to Trauma
This workshop will provide insightful strategies to help attendees cultivate basic understandings of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder from DSM-V criteria. The presenter will explore how features of these disorders may contribute to increased risk factors for being a victim of violence. The presenter will also discuss strategies healthcare providers and educators can implement for identifying risk factors and create interventions that are specific to those persons living with severe mental illness.
Military Marriages & Combat: Unspoken Threats that Compromise the “Happy” Reunion
Elisa Chamberlain, Anne Potts Jackson
Thousands of military members have served and deployed. They leave behind family members, spouses and children. When they reunite, unacknowledged anxiety, mistrust, miscommunication, fear, and behavioral health issues can lead to conflict and, sometimes, violence. The presenters will share their combined perspectives as military spouse, senior non-commissioned officer, parent, Assistant District Attorney, and former U.S. Army Master Resilience Trainer/Facilitator regarding their service, deployments, dynamics during reunification, successful therapies, and remedies, as well as advice for civilians trying to help veterans and their families prevent and address family violence.
Military Related Co-Occurring Conditions with Intimate Partner Violence
Substance abuse, depression, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury are all conditions common among veterans and particularly combat veterans. Such conditions are often identified as the cause of or contributing to intimate partner violence (IPV). However, without considering pre-military history, accurately screening and assessing for these conditions, and being able to distinguish between symptoms of these conditions, IPV tactics can lead to incorrect intervention and a decrease in victim safety. This workshop will review conditions common among veterans and how these conditions can intersect with IPV.
Mindfulness for SART & CCR Multidisciplinary Teams
Multidisciplinary teams are their own organism, each with its own energy. At multidisciplinary meetings, we work hard to try to improve the justice system for victims of crime, but our team members also have their own unique personalities, professions, and trauma backgrounds, which can be frustrating and even traumatizing. In this workshop, we will discuss some options to help identify our own trauma and secondary trauma, as well as how we might prevent it in the future so our teams and victims benefit. Throughout the workshop, we will practice different exercises so you have new tools to take back to your team.
Missing & Murdered Women in Indian Country
This workshop will explore the dynamics of indigenous women who go missing and are often homicide victims in the United States. Attendees will learn about factors that contribute to this growing epidemic and will learn from the experiences of families and investigators involved in these cases. A case study will be used to highlight the challenges in the search for the missing and resources that can assist communities in developing prevention and response strategies.
Missing You: The Relationship Between Mass Homicides & Domestic Violence (Pt. 1 & 2)
When we think of "mass homicide", we often flash back to the horrific events of 9/11, the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, the massacre at Virginia Tech, and more. While we gear our world towards hardening targets, we must also focus not just on "where" these terrifying events occur, but by whom they are being perpetrated. The correlation of subjects with a domestic violence history and those who commit mass homicide is more than 50 percent, according to the 2015 study by Everytown for Gun Safety. Rather than focusing on those who have died, this workshop will take a close look at who is perpetrating these massacres, why, and what can be done to maximize victims safety and prevent these type of homicides in the future.
Mobile Spyware: Is it There?
Have you ever wondered if a device was infected with spyware? This concern is common among people impacted by domestic violence. This workshop will give you information about some common spyware applications and how to check a device for their presence. The presenter will discuss how to determine if spyware is present, how to preserve the evidence for further investigation, and precautions to consider when in possession of an infected device.
The Most Dangerous Power of the Prosecutor
The enormous exercise of power involved in a prosecutor's charging decision was described by Justice Robert H. Jackson as "the most dangerous power of the prosecutor". How is this power wielded when it comes to sexual assault cases? The guidelines on prosecutorial discretion in charging are minimal. Prosecutors rely on a combination of legally relevant and irrelevant variables in determining whether to bring charges. The standard often cited by prosecutors is "would a jury in my jurisdiction convict?" This standard often leads to charging decisions that are led by gender bias and stereotypes. Should prosecutors challenge those stereotypes by filing charges that challenge sexual assault stereotypes, even if the jury is likely to acquit? Is a new charging standard emerging from investigations into gender bias? In this workshop, attendees will be better able to identify standards for charging that eliminate gender bias.
New Developments in Federal Policy Toward Domestic Violence Asylum Seekers
Patricia Freshwater, Natalie Nanasi
Last summer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an opinion that limited the ability of women fleeing domestic violence to obtain asylum in the United States. This workshop will review the history of Matter of A-B- and provide critical historical context and background on the law of domestic violence and asylum. Attendees will gain an understanding of how Matter of A-B- impacts the ability of survivors to obtain asylum and receive guidance on pursuing future claims. This workshop will also discuss the current immigration enforcement priorities of the Trump administration, and how the restrictions on asylum fit within this environment of greater enforcement, including the impact Matter of A-B- has had on the processing of asylum claims for women and children arriving at the border. Finally, the presenters will touch on how counselors/caseworkers can continue to support asylum seekers as they go through this difficult process.
New Developments in Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts: Why Primary Prevention & Risk Reduction Matter
Most sexual assault prevention efforts focus exclusively on primary prevention programs. Recent research suggests, however, that risk reduction strategies have an equally important role to play in prevention. This interactive, discussion-based workshop will foster dialogue about the benefits and shortfalls of primary prevention and risk reduction programs, as well as reference efficacy data from empirically proven programs to illustrate the benefits of combining these programming strategies within a single seminar.
New Proposed Title IX Regulations & Their Effect on Your Campus
On November 16, 2018, the Department of Education released its long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking for Title IX. The proposed regulations, if adopted, would substantially revise key aspects of the Title IX investigation and determination process.
No Easy Task: Drafting Enforceable Tribal Protection Orders
This workshop will provide details for drafting enforceable tribal protection orders, which includes various barriers that affect the enforcement of such orders. The presenter will discuss drafting tips, including jurisdictional findings, domestic violence findings, and tailoring remedies to fit the needs of the victim. The workshop will also cover tribal protection order enforceability issues and will conclude by highlighting some promising strategies being utilized around the country regarding the enforcement of tribal protection orders.
“No Face, No Case”: Responding to Witness Intimidation During Intimate Partner Violence Investigations
Witness intimidation in cases of intimate partner violence is a significant problem, and the most common reason for these cases not proceeding through the system is recantation by victims. Successful prosecution is also hampered by the legal constraints imposed by the 2004 Crawford v. Washington decision, which renders most hearsay testimony to law enforcement officers inadmissible. Thus, the majority of IPV victims are now required to be present in court, which means it is more likely that witness intimidation will occur as the offender attempts to secure a dismissal. In this environment, what can communities do to improve cases outcomes, hold offenders accountable, and ensure victim safety? Attendees will learn strategies offenders use to compel victims to recant, why recantation is particularly detrimental in a post-Crawford environment, what other forms of evidence can be collected to ensure successful case outcomes, and how post-arrest investigation can be used to levy charges of witness intimidation. The Pitt County, NC model developed to address these challenges has been in place for a decade, and attendees will leave this workshop with strategies that can be modified for use in their own jurisdictions.
Not Just a Civil Matter: Combating & Prosecuting the System-Savvy Stalker
Using several real case investigation examples of how suspects use legal and public processes to threaten, stalk, and hurt their victims, this workshop will demonstrate how to sift through information and records to make a stalking case out of something otherwise deemed "civil". The presenters will discuss "paper terrorism" and identity theft, including how to determine the validity of legal papers and processes. Traits of the system-savvy stalker, family violence, and parental child abduction, and a discussion of consumer protection laws and civil suits used to protect victims in these circumstances will be discussed. Attendees will learn how important advocates, police response, and private security partners are in these endeavors.
Not Just Feeling Words: How Victim Services can Lead to Success in Law Enforcement
Fred Fletcher, Caroline Huffaker
In 2014, the Chattanooga Police Department had no experience with victim services or a victim-centered approach in policing. In less than three years, the CPD has built a robust Victim Services Unit that proved to be a fundamental part of the law enforcement response. This workshop will offer firsthand accounts of the value and importance of a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach to policing, the wide-ranging contributions that Victim Services can make in a police department and the lives of the people it serves, and how this powerful combination can contribute to the effective implementation of Community Policing.
Now What? Turning Trauma-Informed Knowledge into Practice
Ruth Guerreiro, Jordyn Lawson
You’ve learned a lot this week about trauma and how it can affect the victims you work with. But how do you use all of this information to implement changes in your program? Using trauma-informed theory, this workshop will discuss ways to create, implement, and utilize best practices and programs to increase the effectiveness of services to victims of gender-based violence. The presenters will provide practical, proven strategies that attendees can pull from to build a trauma-informed program of their own.
Officer Involved Domestic Violence
Nanette Chezum, Mark Wynn
This workshop will give attendees an understanding of officer-involved domestic violence (OIDV) from the experience of a survivor and the expertise of a former law enforcement officer/consultant. Attendees will hear a personal survivor account of OIDV, including barriers to reporting a law enforcement perpetrator. The presenters will also discuss prevention/recognition within law enforcement and how law enforcement officers can hold their fellow officers accountable.
Online Dating & Gaming: Knowing the Risks & Staying Safe
Audace Garnett, Rachel Gibson
Dating sites, hook-up apps, and online gaming have all been growing dramatically in popularity, and not just among teens and young adults. Adult women make up half of all gamers, and online dating among 55- to 64-year-olds has risen substantially. In this workshop, attendees will analyze ways survivors are using these platforms, what concerns survivors have within these spaces, and how “real life” and digital life become connected. The presenters will also explore privacy and safety strategies in these spaces.
Open Source Social Media Searches Law Enforcement & Prosecutors Should Know
Justin Fitzsimmons, Lauren Wagner
This workshop is restricted to law enforcement and prosecutors only. For most people over the age of 10, social media is a common part of everyday life, so it is not surprising that evidence from social media is central to investigations. However, there are capabilities within social media websites that are little-known within the law enforcement community. This workshop will detail how three specific social media searches can be used to enhance the investigation and prosecution of cases. The presenters will discuss using the “geocode” search in Twitter to find Tweets from a specific latitude and longitude, using “site” in Google to search specific social media websites, and using URL manipulations in Facebook to find photo likes and comments from a target profile.
Overview of the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (Pt. 1 & 2)
This workshop is an overview of the official Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview™, a science and practice-based interviewing methodology informed by the latest research on the neurobiology of trauma and memory. The Certified FETI® methodology provides interviewers with a science-informed interviewing framework that maximizes opportunities for information collection and accurately documents the participant’s experience in a neutral, equitable, and fair manner. FETI® is used by professionals who interview in diverse areas such as law enforcement, higher education, government, criminal prosecution, advocacy, journalism, healthcare, human resources, and family services. Attendees will learn and understand the FETI Framework™, as well as recognize the impact and science-basis of trauma and high-stress on memory, communication, and recall.
OVW Tribal Affairs Division: Addressing the Issues of Violence Against American Indian & Alaska Native Women
Sherriann Moore, Darla Sims
Bring your lunch and enjoy this networking discussion about how the OVW Tribal Affairs Division (TAD) implements the VAWA statue and responsibilities imparted to it when addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and sex trafficking in Indian county. Attendees will be provided an overview of the TAD grant programs, technical assistance projects, policy and legislation, special initiatives and other activities facilitated through this Division.
Peep Behind the Curtain: Porn & Its Impact on Intimate Partner Violence
Myra Strand, Russell Strand
Pornography has been a part of human existence since the conception of cave drawings. While capturing the images of humans involved in sexual acts is a historical consistent, the onslaught of the internet has permanently and dramatically changed the sexual landscape. In the past 20 years, since the internet entered personal homes, porn use has dramatically increased into a $10 billion industry. This workshop will examine the influence of pornography on the neurobiology of the developing and already-developed brain. The presenters will explore how excessive porn use impacts an individual’s sexuality and body image, taking into consideration that the onslaught of hardcore images shape and inform ones’ sexual identity and practice. The presenters will also discuss how a culture in which dignity and respect is minimized may increase the incidence of interpersonal violence.
Prosecuting Pimps: Steps to a Successful Prosecution
Solid investigations of human trafficking cases lead to successful prosecutions. This workshop will assist prosecutors and investigators who are tackling human trafficking cases, from initial investigation to post-conviction. A multidisciplinary team approach between law enforcement, victim advocates, and prosecutors allow for simultaneous goals of rescuing victims and prosecuting their offenders to the fullest extent. Attendees will learn how to work together to investigate cases involving trafficking, and gather evidence necessary to make a successful case. Charging decisions, trial preparation, and trial strategies will be discussed.
Prosecuting the Manipulative, Coercive Defendant: How NOT to Make the Criminal Justice System Another Tool in the Abuser's Toolbox
Laurie Burks, Kerri New
Family violence offenders are skilled at deception and manipulation. These offenders are used to being in control and, unfortunately, often find it easy to manipulate the various people and parts of the criminal justice system to benefit themselves and to make it harder for victims to receive the help they need. If investigators and prosecutors are not constantly vigilant, unfailingly thorough, and always in touch with their inner-skeptic, the criminal justice system can easily become another tool with which to batter the victim. Using multiple real case examples, the presenters will walk through some of the tactics and tricks that offenders have tried, with varying degrees of success, and what methods can be employed to prevent these offenders from derailing justice. Attendees will receive concrete ideas for maintaining a firm grip on accountability even when a skilled offender is working every angle to slip the grip of the criminal justice system.
Prosecuting the Psychopathic Sex Offender
Erin Faseler, Jacklyn Janis, Randall Price
Psychopathic sex offenders present a special kind of risk to our communities, and prosecuting them poses a special kind of challenge. This workshop will focus on how psychopathic sex offenders are different than other sex offenders and why prosecuting them seems so much more difficult. Through the use of video clips and offender statements, as well as specific case analyses, this workshop will help practitioners identify psychopathic traits and equip law enforcement with tools to prosecute these types of offenders. The presenters, who have collectively interviewed and cross-examined hundreds of sex offenders, will highlight their own exhaustive prosecution of sexual psychopaths, who have included juvenile sex offenders, cult and religious leaders, adult rapists, and those who have used their charm to successfully gain access to children for sexual abuse.
Prosecutors Networking Lunch
Brooke Grona-Robb, Anne Potts Jackson, Cara Pierce
Join fellow prosecutors for networking and an open discussion on current "hot topics" in your field.
Protecting & Serving DV Survivors in the Black Community: Challenges & Solutions (Lunch Session)
This lunch session is restricted to law enforcement only. This workshop will cater to law enforcement officers who would like to engage in a dialogue about the help-seeking challenges Black survivors experience and the challenges law enforcement officers experience in responding to domestic violence in the Black community. Attendees will be able to use this information as a springboard to create culturally-responsive approaches based on mutual respect and effective communication.
Protecting Yourself in a Digital World
Digital devices are a part of the modern world. Most of us know enough to get things done, but we all hear about the ‘dark side” of the digital life. Join a cyber crime analyst as he talks in plain English about the technical problems everyone faces each time they log into their computer, use a smart phone, or swipe a credit card. Regardless of technical expertise (or lack thereof), attendees will walk away understanding cyber-stalking, cross-site scripting, trojans, viruses, card skimming, POS scraping, Chip/Pin credit cards, ATM skimming, identity theft, and other things that go bump in the dark. More importantly, attendees will know what to do to protect themselves from these criminal acts.
Recognizing, Responding to, & Reporting Trafficking in the Healthcare Setting
Carrie Schirato, Carrie Taylor
Research shows that up to 88% of sex trafficking victims have contact with healthcare providers, but because of lack of human trafficking awareness and education, low percentages of victims are identified. This workshop will discuss one organization's newly-developed trauma-informed training, to not only recognize human trafficking victims, but to equip and empower providers with the necessary tools to respond and report these trafficked persons safely and efficiently.
Responding to Clery Compliance Program Reviews
Complaints that institutions fail to address sexual misconduct complaints can trigger U.S. Department of Education Clery compliance program reviews. This workshop will discuss preparing for a potential review, responding to notice that your institution will be the subject of one, and resolving outcomes effectively.
River of Cruelty: An Experimental Approach to Understanding & Intervening with Cruelty
Dorthy Stucky Halley, Steve Halley
Cruel behaviors on campus pose serious problems for college administrators, staff, and students. Using the Family Peace Initiative’s “River of Cruelty Map,” attendees will explore the impact of trauma and adverse experiences on human behavior using an experimental approach. This workshop will demonstrate how cruel experiences are often transferred from person to person and generation to generation. Ideas for intervention will also be discussed.
The Role of Faith Communities in Addressing Crime, Delinquency, Drug Addiction, Domestic Violence, & Offender Rehabilitation
Decades of research have shown how and why religion can be a powerful antidote to crime. This workshop will describe how faith communities, congregations, and faith-based organizations are essential in forming partnerships necessary to provide the human and spiritual capital needed to effectivelly address crime, offender rehabilitation, prisoner re-entry, and domestic violence. When compared to current strategies, faith-based approaches to crime prevention bring added value in targeting factors known to cause crime: poverty, lack of education, and unemployment. In an age of limited resources, we cannot afford to ignore the practical insights, best practices, and faith-based recommendations for addressing some of society's most pressing social problems.
Securing Your Router & WiFi Network (Lunch Session)
Have you ever wondered if your WiFi is secure? Is someone using your network without your authorization or knowledge? Could you be implicated in a criminal investigation because your network is not secure? If you answered "yes" to any or all of these, then this workshop is for you. The presenter will cover how to properly configure your router to better secure your network and other options that are available to make you, your family, and your network more secure.
Seizing the Opportunity: Cross-Examination of the Defendant in Current & Cold Cases of Sexual Assault
Kristen Gibbons Feden, Patricia Powers
When sexually-violent defendants take the stand, the prosecutor is afforded the opportunity to expose the defendant’s true character. This workshop will discuss the importance of preparing a strategy for cross-examination at the earliest stages of trial preparation, reviewing evidence, listening to the defendant’s testimony on direct, revealing the defendant’s character through questioning, and exposing the defendant’s predatory behaviors.
Sex Offender Policies & Management
Sex offender policies, management, and treatment are often driven by myths and public fears rather than informed by scientific research. Many individuals believe that sex offenders are at high risk of re-offending and that many are driven by a paraphilia—meaning a mental disorder of sexual deviance. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has been misled by erroneous statistics when it has upheld various sex offender laws. These myths undermine the goals of protecting women and children from sex-based offending. In this workshop, attendees will unpack common myths and become familiar with the best evidence about sexual offending, victimization, techniques of investigation, and supervision strategies. This workshop will be presented in terms that are accessible to a wide audience: lawyers, police, counselors, and advocates.
Sex, Strangulation, & Serial Killers (Pt. 1 & 2)
Julie Germann, Kelsey McKay
Perpetrators’ torturous use of sexual violence and strangulation identifies the most depraved offenders. From the BTK Killer, Ted Bundy, and the Boston Strangler to more recent serial killers like Darren Vann, Reginald Kimbro, and Sam Little, all have commonalities: sexual assault, strangulation, and a predictable history. Research reflects that the true motive in over half of strangulation homicides is sexual assault. Not understanding the juncture between strangulation and sexual consent allows for ultimate victim blaming in both homicides and non-fatal assaults. Overlooking these offenders only allows their violent deviancy to increase to serial assault and murder. With training to identify these offenders, properly collect evidence, and strategically charge and prosecute, communities can elevate their role in holding these offenders accountable. This workshop will provide practical tools that the criminal justice community can implement to improve accountability for the most lethal offenders.
Sexual Assault & Mental Illness: Developing a Strong Medical, Advocacy, & Legal Response
Brian Baker, Nancy Downing, Patricia Marty
Attendees will examine the relationship between mental illness and sexual assault and strategize ways to provide a strong medical, advocacy, law enforcement, and legal response. The presenters will discuss how persons with mental illness are more vulnerable to sexual assault and how sexual assault contributes to mental illness, creating a vicious cycle. Healthcare providers and advocates need tools to address acute needs of survivors of sexual assault with mental illness. Persons with mental illness are often stigmatized and believed to be less credible victims. Law enforcement and prosecutors can build a strong case to hold perpetrators of sexual violence against persons with mental illness accountable. Attendees will discuss case scenarios of various challenging mental illnesses to identify ways to address victims' needs, including victims with personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance use disorders.
Sexual Deviant Killers
This workshop offers a wide-ranging examination into the minds of convicted murderers and violent sex offenders, whose primary motive is sex-related and who predominantly target women and children. The presenter will emphasize the psychology behind the crime, while analyzing and interpreting true accounts and the disturbing viewpoints and motives of some of the most dangerous men behind bars, including inmates on death row. Psycho-social histories and backgrounds of perpetrators will be presented and analyzed. Overall mindset, fantasy facilitators, violent sex offender behaviors, and etiologies will be studied with the goal of identifying warning signs, interviewing suspects, increasing effectiveness in search warrants, and greater case preparation from inception to case closure. This workshop provides a glance into the darkest corners of humanity and is primarily designed for those working in law enforcement, corrections, or probation and parole.
Sexual Misconduct: Navigating the Student Experience
Karla Arenas-Itotia, Kiva Harper
This workshop will discuss campus culture and best practices when working with survivors of relationship and sexual violence, with a focus on student survivors. Attendees will learn the implications of working with the campus community versus general community. Discussion will include: education, advocacy, support services, trauma informed practice, policy, reporting, and coordination of services ranging from academic accommodations to medical and more. Special attention will be given to trauma-informed interventions.
Shifting the Paradigm: How On-Scene Law Enforcement & Advocacy Collaboration Makes a Difference (Lunch Session)
Jason Forgash, Michelle Heater
The role of law enforcement is to ensure public safety. The role of victim services is to provide assistance and support to the crime victims. Although law enforcement and victim services are often working collaboratively on cases and with victims, this work generally begins days or weeks after the crime has been committed. In that gap of time, important information and the opportunity to meet critical needs is lost. How can having a victim advocate on-scene make law enforcement more effective? What victim needs could be addressed in the hours following the crime? This workshop will highlight responsibilities from law enforcement and victim services during on-scene responses. The presenters will provide an overview of a model that is utilized and evolving in southern California, walking through real cases and sharing lessons learned and practical strategies.
Stalking in the Digital Age: Know It, Name It, Prosecute It
Jane Anderson, Jennifer Landhuis
Too often, reports of stalking are taken seriously only after the stalkers escalate their behaviors. This workshop will examine dynamics, elements of the offense, and considerations in charging stalking. The presenter will also discuss the correlation between stalking and other forms of violence, interviewing techniques, the use of technology in stalking, and the importance of a collaborative approach.
A Step Ahead: Texas’ Response to SAK Reform (Lunch Session)
In 2010, the Joyful Heart Foundation formalized six legislative pillars for comprehensive rape kit reform. With the passage of a sexual assault evidence tracking law in June 2017, Texas became the first state in the nation to enact all six pillars. Since 2011, Texas legislators have also worked to pass rape kit reform laws, many of which have required the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory Service to develop and implement programs related to sexual assault cases. The laboratory is currently working towards the implementation of a statewide sexual assault evidence tracking system. Participation in the tracking system is required by any entity that collects evidence of sexual assaults or other sex offenses or investigates or prosecutes such offenses. This workshop will identify the Joyful Heart Foundation’s six key pillars, review the laboratory’s response to Texas’ sexual assault legislation, and include a brief overview of the proposed sexual assault evidence tracking system.
Street Gangs, Then & Now
Evonne Garcia, Andrea Schooler
This workshop tracks the history of nationally-known criminal street gangs and focuses heavily on the violence they perpetrate against women and girls. Descriptions of some of the major street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs will be included. The presenters will address current gang trends, including the growth of transnational gangs, drug-trafficking organizations, and hometown cliques. Attention will be given to the role of women and girls in gangs, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and some of the ways in which young people are indoctrinated into this way of life. The challenges in effectively dealing with those impacted by gang crime will also be discussed.
Suffer from Burnout? Give ’em the F.I.N.G.E.R.!
Burnout affects millions of Americans each year and has been called “the disease of our civilization.” The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health. But there’s good news -- burnout can be healed. Attendees will learn the definition of burnout and the symptoms thereof. More importantly, attendees will be laughing and learning how to apply the F.I.N.G.E.R. philosophy to help themselves or their co-workers avoid and/or recover from Burnout. This is a workshop you don't want to miss!
Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors on Campus
Ethan Levine, Molly Sapia
Title IX protections have provided a much-needed resource for addressing sexual violence on campus. However, the benefits of Title IX may not apply equally to all students in practice. This workshop will explore strategies for addressing sexual violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities. How can staff and providers improve support for LGBTQ+ students? How effectively does Title IX address same-sex violence – and might this vary among administrations? What other policy and programmatic options would support students in these communities? Attendees will discuss contemporary challenges and strategies for supporting LGBTQ+ survivors on campus. The presenters will also explore the capacity for Title IX to serve as a resource for addressing sexual violence when one or more individuals identifies as LGBTQ+. Current interpretations regarding the applicability of Title IX and other federal and state legislation to sexual violence within LGBTQ+ communities will also be reviewed, including some alternative interpretations that may emerge under the current administration. Attendees will develop strategies for improving institutional support for LGBTQ+ students who have experienced sexual violence.
Surrendering Firearms, Saving Lives
Julie Germann, Dave Keck
The most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim is immediately after leaving the relationship. Women are 3.6 times more likely to be killed shortly after leaving their partner, and the presence of firearms increases the lethality of the violence and expands the number of victims. Research has shown that state laws prohibiting persons subject to protection orders from possessing firearms and requiring them to surrender firearms in their possession were associated with a 14% lower rate of intimate partner firearm homicide. Taking the steps to ensure compliance with firearm surrender laws could save a life. In this workshop, attendees will learn the steps necessary for developing a firearm surrender protocol in their community and explore all aspects of a successful protocol, from getting buy-in from the necessary criminal justice partners to procedure and paperwork. The presenters will also review some of the protocols/procedures utilized by communities nationwide that are already successfully surrendering firearms.
The Ten Commandments of Family Violence
Melissa Carter, Jessica Escue
Reluctant witnesses, recanting victims, and distrust of authorities are hallmarks of family violence investigations. Because of those issues, domestic violence cases are often frustrating, complicated, and difficult to investigate and prosecute. However, these complex cases often follow standard patterns that can make investigations much easier. This workshop focuses on 10 practical do's and don'ts for prosecutors and advocates that can make or break a family violence case. Attendees will learn how trauma and family violence dynamics affect a victim's recitation of events after an abusive episode, how to effectively question victims of crimes in order to maximize information without re-traumatizing or victim blaming, and how to present this information to a jury in order to maximize sentences.
Texas Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Protocol Update (Lunch Session)
This workshop will review the recently updated, legislatively mandated Texas Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Protocol. All medical professionals who collect sexual assault evidence are required to follow this protocol, which prior to 2018 changes, was last updated in 1998. This workshop is appropriate for any medical, nursing, emergency services, law enforcement, advocacy, attorneys, and forensic science personnel who interact with persons who experience sexual violence.
There's an App for That: Tech Misuse & Strategies for Safety & Privacy
Audace Garnett, Rachel Gibson
There are apps for ordering food, playing games, and reading books. Now, apps are being designed for survivors or service providers to enhance safety, offer communication strategies, and to collect evidence. New apps are being developed, while other apps no longer exist, or remain available but no longer function as they should. This workshop will discuss the ways abusers misuse these apps, and what steps survivors can increase their safety and privacy in app use. Attendees will receive an overview of considerations for the development of apps for survivors, and the presenters will answer common questions about current popular apps.
"They're Doing What?": Defamation Lawsuits Filed by the Accused in Title IX
Amy Pennington, Thomas Pennington
This workshop will explain the law regarding defamation and will explore recent cases where individuals accused of Title IX violations have subsequently filed defamation lawsuits.
Trafficking in Indian Country
This workshop will familiarize attendees with commercial sex trafficking in Native American communities. The presenter will discuss how trafficking manifests in Indian Country, and will provide insight on the victims and perpetrators of this crime. This workshop will also discuss the community indicators of human trafficking, the behaviors of those directly involved in the crime, and strategies for engaging communities to augment resources.
Translating Doubt into Conviction Through the Strategic Use of Expert Witness (Pt. 1 & 2)
When victims of interpersonal crimes are involved in the criminal justice system, attorneys and fact finders may be influenced by myths and misconceptions about victims and perpetrators. The strategic use of expert witnesses can help attorneys ensure that fact finders are able to ‘see’ these crimes through the correct filter. This two-part workshop will provide attorneys and experts tips and exercises for when to use an expert, who to use, and how to use them to turn "weaknesses" into evidence that a crime was committed. Attendees will develop strategies to address common themes: the impact of trauma on victim behavior, battering and its effects, delayed reporting, recantation, power and control, and safety planning and risk assessment.
Trauma Informed Victim Interview for the Justice System
This workshop will focus on how to facilitate a trauma-informed victim interview (TIVI). The TIVI guideline has been used successfully in investigating domestic violence, sexual assault, and strangulation cases. The presenter will emphasize the importance of being victim-centered, suspect-focused, and trauma-informed, as well as discuss why we are facilitating the interview in a different way. Why is this interview method different than the way victim interviews were previously conducted? Why are body language and surroundings important? Why do we structure questions in certain ways? These questions and more will be answered. This information is helpful for any multidisciplinary team members.
Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Initiative
Leslie A. Hagen
This workshop will discuss the TSAUSA initiative to support the cross-designation of tribal prosecutors to bring domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking cases in both tribal and federal court. TSAUSAs help ensure greater accountability for offenders by increasing prosecutions of habitual offenders and strengthening mutual trust among tribal law enforcement, victims, victim services personnel, and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices working in partnership with Tribes.
The Ultimate Act of Power & Control: Overcoming Common Defenses in Domestic Violence Homicide Cases
Kristen Gibbons Feden, Dalia Racine, John Wilkinson
Domestic violence homicide is rarely a “whodunit”; issues at trial typically center on whether the defendant should be afforded a complete defense or mitigation, reducing the crime to a lesser offense. This workshop will propose strategies to anticipate and counter common defenses in domestic violence homicide prosecution, as well as ways to counter “non-defenses” such as jury nullification or attempts to impugn the victim’s character.
Understanding Protective Orders (Lunch Session)
This workshop will examine the different types of protective orders available to survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking both in Texas and nationally. Presenters will describe how they work and how they can be utilized to improve survivor safety and prevent future violence.
The Unnamed Conspirator
The influence of societal attitude ranks high among the many challenges we face in sexual assault cases. Commonly held beliefs about victims, offenders, and the meaning of consent all play important roles in how sexual assault cases are understood and handled in our culture. This interactive and high-spirited workshop will examine the influences on children, jurors, and members of our communities as they consider the question of sexual assault and what it means. The presenter will offer a common sense approach and provide learning opportunities that everyone can take back to their work.
Using Federal Law to Increase Safety for Indian Women: TLOA & VAWA
Leslie A. Hagen
Native American women suffer domestic and sexual violence at epidemic rates. Federal law enforcement may be hours away from reservation crime scenes and resources are frequently stretched thin. Tribal police, prosecutors, and courts have had significant success in combating intimate partner violence committed by Indians in Indian country. However, because of a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision, tribes lacked the authority to prosecute a non-Indian defendant. The Tribal Law and Order Act (2010) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 potentially and dramatically changed the legal authority of tribal courts and have provided federal prosecutors with new criminal offenses to use when holding offenders accountable. This workshop will cover relevant changes to federal law, a summary of recent case law, and provide an update on implementation efforts for both Acts.
Victim Blaming & Retaliation: The Second Rape
We live in a culture that professes to understand how sexual assault and rape are easily among the worst crimes that can be committed against a human, and yet victims of these crimes routinely experience blame and backlash from people within this culture. This backlash ranges from statements of disbelief from trusted friends to outright threats against the victim. This workshop will explore the underlying dynamics at play when community members including peers, jurors, and complete strangers blame victims for crimes committed against them. The presenter will consider the tension that community members face when presented with the “two sided coin” that depicts victim blaming on one side and offender accountability on the other as we challenge our reluctance to hold sex offenders accountable for their crimes.
We’re Watching: Monitoring & Supervising Stalking Offenders
Almost 1 in 3 stalkers have stalked previously and over 50% of stalkers re-offend. This workshop will help attendees identify and respond to behaviors that are part of the course of conduct in stalking crimes. The presenter will also discuss the importance of stalking-specific risk assessments, conducting regular searches, and considering special conditions of supervision for stalking offenders.
What’s Immigration Got To Do With It? Prosecuting Gender-Based Violence & Human Trafficking Cases Involving Immigrant Victims of Crime
Jane Anderson, Patricia Powers
Immigration relief is a powerful tool for law enforcement, enhancing their ability to identify offenders who use immigration status to control their victims. However, prosecutors face challenges in court when handling cases with immigrant victims. This workshop will address legal issues related to immigration status in court, as well as strategies to educate the courtroom about immigration abuse.
What Digital Breadcrumbs Are You Broadcasting? Staying Safe in a Tech-Based World
Justin Fitzsimmons, Lauren Wagner
This workshop is restricted to law enforcement and prosecutors only. Nothing is more important than the safety of those who work to investigate and prosecute crime. This workshop covers website data, IP tracing, cell phone considerations, Bluetooth snarfing, and home wireless networks. Most importantly, this workshop will show attendees how to search social media and find the traces of themselves that be found online by suspects, defense experts, and the media. The presenters will show examples pulled from various media sites that could cause ethical issues and to highlight common pitfalls of social media use by professionals.
When Domestic Violence Comes to Family Court
Sara Barnett, Roberto Canas
When they can no longer hit with their fists, abusers will “hit” where it hurts the most by seeking custody of the children. According to the American Psychological Association, abusive fathers file for sole custody more often than fathers who have no history of domestic violence—and they are very often successful. Victims accessing the family court system often believe that the courts will protect them and their children; instead, protective parenting by the victim is labeled as alienation. Courts, amicus attorneys and custody evaluators blame the victim and minimize the impact that domestic violence has on an abuser’s ability to parent. This workshop will focus on uncovering some of the biases and views that are commonly held by family courts and how to successfully advocate for an abused client.
When There's No Bed: Addressing Needs of Trafficking Victims (Lunch Session)
Jeanne Allert, Kirsta Melton
As of 2018, there are 16 states in the U.S. that have no shelter program dedicated to victims of trafficking and six states that have only one. Considering this dearth of services, what are some creative options for securing placement for a trafficking survivor? How can we cultivate community partnerships to build a base of options? In this lunch session, join an experienced advocate, law enforcement officer, and prosecutor to discuss challenges, share ideas, and hear what's worked for other communities.
Why Didn't They Report? Understanding Survival Responses to Trauma & Learning to Hold Space for Domestic & Sexual Violence Survivors in Our Processes
This workshop is an expansion on neurobiology of trauma evidence, which describes the impact of trauma on the brain and body. The presenter will describe how neurobiological responses to trauma relate to delayed reporting in both domestic and sexual violence situations and apply this research to other common survival responses to trauma. This workshop will also outline simple, trauma-informed strategies that professionals can implement, including an approach known as “holding space for survivors”, which helps facilitate empowerment-based healing for those we serve.
Why Won’t She Listen? How to Effectively Communicate with Survivors & Increase Participation
Ruth Guerreiro, Jordyn Lawson
Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated while working with a victim of domestic violence? Ever thought to yourself… “Why won’t she listen?” It may feel taboo to say, but the truth is that we all feel frustrated at times. This workshop will discuss typical reactions from victims that may affect their ability and/or willingness to participate in the investigation, prosecution, or therapeutic process based on where they are at in the stages of change. The presenters will also lay out practical ways to address these reactions and overcome barriers to more effectively communicate with victims of domestic violence.
Witnesses for the Prosecution (Pt. 1 & 2)
Kirsta Melton, Mallory Vincent
Human trafficking is a crime of capitalism: sellers offering what buyers want to purchase. This two-part workshop offers attendees insight into the habits, motivations, and purchasing patterns of sex buyers, as well as an understanding of how their conduct can help individuals successfully investigate and prosecute cases where victims are unwilling or incapable of providing the first-person evidence typically relied upon by law enforcement. Pt. 1 will focus on exploring john behavior and the avenues it opens for investigation. Pt. 2 will walk attendees through successful prosecutions that relied on buyers, rather than victims, to do the heavy lifting during trial.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
Bryan Franke, Gretta Gardner, Myra Strand, Russell Strand, Jim Tanner
You’ve worked hard all week and learned a lot. Now, let us destroy some brain cells and send you home with a grin on your face. Join some of our presenters for a fun workshop as they collectively shake their heads and take a light-hearted look at experiences even they couldn’t believe. This workshop is an "unscripted" conversation between presenters of various professions, sharing stories that will make you laugh.