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Click on a title for a course description and outline, as well as a list of learning objectives and evaluation information. You may also access the CV for primary instructors Joanne Archambault and Kim Lonsway.
  1. Effective Report Writing: Using the Language of Non-Consensual Sex - 4 hours

    This training module is designed to help investigators write a thorough, well written report that will support successful prosecution of a sexual assault case. Recommendations are equally helpful for other professionals on how to write and speak about sexual assault issues.

  2. Dynamics of Sexual Assault: What Does Sexual Assault Really Look Like? - 5 hours

    This training module is designed to explore the dynamics of sexual assault by examining common misconceptions and stereotypes, and reviewing research on the prevalence and characteristics of sexual assault. These dynamics have profound implications for the law enforcement investigation, victim responses, and strategies for successful prosecution.

  3. Victim Impact: How Victims are Affected by Sexual Assault and How Law Enforcement Can Respond Successfully - 11 hours

    This training module is designed to explain the impact of sexual assault victimization on the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of victims. Increased understanding of this impact can improve victim responses, but the effects also have critical implications for a successful law enforcement investigation and prosecution of sexual assault.

  4. Preliminary Investigation: Guidelines for First Responders - 8 hours

    Most of this training module is drawn directly from the Concepts and Issues Paper on Investigating Sexual Assault developed by the National Law Enforcement Policy Center of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Detailed guidance is provided for the preliminary response and law enforcement investigation of sexual assault.

  5. Law and Investigative Strategy: What Kind of Sexual Assault is This? - 5 hours

    This training module is designed to help law enforcement investigators develop an investigative strategy to overcome common defense strategies, by reviewing the elements of a sexual assault case and exploring the evidence that can potentially support each element.

  6. Interviewing the Victim: Techniques Based on the Realistic Dynamics of Sexual Assault - 14 hours

    This training module provides detailed guidance for how to conduct a successful interview with a victim of sexual assault, with particular emphasis on sexual assaults committed by someone known to the victim (i.e., a non-stranger).

  7. False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate Sexual Assault - 5 hours

    This module is designed to directly confront this issue of false reporting by showing that the “red flags” that typically raise suspicion are often the realistic dynamics of sexual assault. Research on false reports is reviewed, and the implications are explored for effective criminal justice and community responses.

  8. Sustaining a Coordinated Community Response: Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams (SARRT) - 12 hours

    This training module is designed to explain what is meant by a “Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team” (SARRT), and discuss how to establish, expand, and sustain one in your community. (There is considerable overlap with Course #11 on Rural and Remote SARRTs.)

  9. Reporting Methods for Sexual Assault Cases - 12 hours

    This training module provides guidance for officers and investigators on making the critical determination whether a sexual assault will be recorded with an official crime report or an informational report – and exploring the implications for subsequent criminal justice processing.

  10. Clearance Methods for Sexual Assault Cases - 8 hours

    This training module reviews the various ways in which a sexual assault case can be cleared or otherwise closed by a law enforcement agency, and how some are not really closed at all but simply suspended or inactivated. Implications for law enforcement response are explored.

  11. Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams (SARRT): A Guide for Rural and Remote Communities - 9 hours

    This training module is designed guide communities in overcoming the unique challenges faced by professionals who respond to sexual assault in rural and remote communities - by improving the coordination of services for victims across disciplines and agencies. (There is considerable overlap with Course #8 on Sustaining a Coordinated Community SARRT).

  12. Effective Victim Advocacy Within the Criminal Justice System - 14 hours

    This module offers detailed guidance on the role of community-based and system-based victim advocates, specifically for work that intersects with the criminal justice system. (It is a more in-depth version of Course 13, entitled “Breaking Barriers.”)

  13. Breaking Barriers: The Role of Community-Based and System-Based Victim Advocates - 9 hours

    This training module is designed to help professionals within the criminal justice and community response system, including advocates themselves, better understand the role of victim advocates. (It is an abbreviated version of Course 12 on Effective Victim Advocacy.)

  14. The Earthquake in Sexual Assault Response: Implementing VAWA Forensic Compliance - 7 hours

    This training module is designed to increase understanding of the forensic compliance provisions in the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which require that sexual assault victims be provided a medical forensic examination free and regardless of whether they personally report to law enforcement or participation in the criminal justice process.

  15. Successfully Investigating Sexual Assault Against Victims with Disabilities - 20 hours

    This training module is designed to ensure that people with disabilities who are victimized have equal access to information, programs, and services within the criminal justice system, by providing detailed guidance on how to conduct a successful law enforcement investigation of sexual assault against people with disabilities.

  16. Laboratory Analysis of Biological Evidence and the Role of DNA in Sexual Assault Investigations - 32 hours

    This comprehensive module explores the complex role of DNA in a sexual assault investigation, including the alternative sources of DNA evidence and their potential significance or impact on a sexual assault investigation. A number of resources and tools are provided, along with a series of complex and interactive case examples.

  17. Untested Evidence and the Investigation of Cold Sexual Assault Cases - 10 hours

    This module is designed to help communities address the complex challenges of untested evidence in sexual assault cases. While the material is largely written with reference to cold cases, much of the guidance applies equally to current sexual assault cases and investigations that have been recently inactivated or suspended.

  18. Crime Scene Processing and Recovery of Physical Evidence From Sexual Assault Scenes - 13 hours

    This module provides guidance on crime scene processing, a systematic, meticulous, and scientific process that law enforcement investigators should employ in every major criminal investigation.

  19. Forensic Examinations of Sexual Assault Victims and Suspects: Role of the Examination in Sex Crimes Investigations (Part 1: Types and Purposes of Evidence) - 15 hours

    This module goes beyond simply explaining the procedures that are used during victim and suspect forensic examinations. It also explores the different types of evidence that may be gathered during these examinations and describes how this evidence can be used to advance a sexual assault investigation. 

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