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SATI e-News Archambault Consulting
June 28, 2007 Newsletter

In this issue:

Promising Practices:  From the Desk of the Training Director

Sexual Assault News

Opinion

Emerging Technology

Legislative News

Forensic News

Job Openings:

People on the Move:


Promising Practices:
From the Desk of the Training Director

While traveling and training for law enforcement, we are often questioned – and even challenged – about the role of victim advocates when responding to crimes of sexual violence. For example, just last month Joanne provided training in a state where the county prosecutor stood up and stated quite strongly that his office did not want advocates participating in any part of the law enforcement interview. This was particularly disappointing because we were talking at the time about best practices for the multidisciplinary response. Rather than discussing the current policy and its underlying rationale, however, the prosecutor simply declared that their policy was not to include advocates. Not surprisingly, this shut down any further discussion of the issue.
 
On another occasion, we were hosting a conference in San Diego. Joanne ended up talking to a group of officers who had attended a session she presented earlier in the day. They asked if they could talk to her about “those advocates.” They went on to say that the advocates and officers in their community were like “oil and water.” Apparently, there had been a feud many years ago and – although no one could remember what the feud was about – they still couldn’t seem to get along. To help both groups understand at least some of the source of the tension, Joanne asked them to think about their organizational histories. For example, although there are more women in law enforcement today then when Joanne first joined the San Diego Police Department in April 1980, police departments are still generally male-dominated, paramilitary organizations. On the other hand, most sexual assault coalitions and community-based rape crisis centers were created as a result of the feminist movement, when women gathered together to demand better treatment for rape victims. It’s easy to see that these two perspectives might clash at times. In order to understand each other, it is therefore important for both groups to appreciate the unique history, experiences, roles, and responsibilities of each.
 
So, to start answering the question in the title of this article – whether advocates and law enforcement are like “oil and water” – we would like to ask each one of you reading this article whether you would like to see more sex offenders held accountable for their crimes. We assume the answer is “YES.” If so, research and experience tells us that we must provide all victims of sexual violence (as well as their loved ones) with as much support as possible. Typically, the best way to do this is to provide advocacy services as early and as often as needed throughout the criminal justice process. This is often the only way that victims will be able to draw together the emotional resources they need to participate in the investigation and prosecution of their sexual assault. We have all seen how difficult this process can be for victims, especially given the attitudes of doubt and blame that are seen in our society when it comes to sexual assault. This is why at least one expert has described the process of advocating for victims within the criminal justice system as holding their hand on a walk through hell (Weisz, 1999; cited in Koss, 2006). [read more]

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Sexual Assault News

U.S. Marine Corps Settles High-Profile Cases for $200,000
The U.S. Marine Corps agreed to pay two young women $200,000 in a case where two military recruiters were accused of rape, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The young women were 17 years old in 2004 when the assaults occurred in a northern California recruiting office. In addition to the payout, the settlement also requires that recruiting stations in northern California post notices with confidential contact information for women who feel they have been sexually mistreated by recruiters. It also requires that female recruiters be available to talk with young women seeking information about joining the Marines, and that female supervisors be present at any Marine-sanctioned slumber parties that involve female recruits or applicants. While the settlement did not constitute an admission of guilt on the part of the two marines, both were court martialed and demoted. They were later discharged from the Marines, according to the Chronicle.
 
Source:
”U.S. Marine Corps settles sexual assault case,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 7, 2007.

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Writer, Activist and Rape Survivor Receives Visionary Award
At its annual conference held in Houston earlier this year, End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International honored Anne Ream with its annual Visionary award. Every year EVAW International presents this award to an individual who has raised awareness of violence against women and proposed innovative ideas to end it. Past award recipients include Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Dr. David Lisak, director of the Boston-based Sexual Trauma Research Center.
 
Anne, a Chicago-based communications professional, activist, and survivor, brings her private sector experience and passion for social justice together in her work with The Voices and Faces Project, the national non-profit she founded in 2003. She also delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the conference. [read more]

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Judge Bans the Language of Rape from Courtroom
Last fall a Nebraska district judge granted a motion by defense attorneys which effectively bars use of the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit in the courtroom at the rape trial of Pamir Safi, according to Slate magazine. As a result, the defense and the prosecution have had to use the same word—sex—to refer to both forcible sexual assault as well as consensual sex. The jurors were not advised of the gag order.
 
Even the victim herself was prohibited from using the words rape or sexual assault when she testified for 13 hours at the trial last fall. The woman, Tory Bowen, believes that describing what happened to her as sex is almost an assault in itself. "This makes women sick, especially the women who have gone through this," the victim told the Omaha World Herald. "They know the difference between sex and rape."
 
Judge Jeffre Cheuvront’s ruling is based on Nebraska law which gives judges the latitude to ban evidence or language that present the danger of "unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues or misleading the jury," and defense lawyers are increasingly using this tactic. [read more]

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Virginia Man Attempts to Justify Incest
Confronted by his grown daughters about sexual abuse he committed against them during their youth, the now 70-year old man told them that he had performed the sex acts as a way to guide and train them and that they were wrong to think it was inappropriate, according to the Washington Post. The man, James L. Bevel, was a leader of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Since his arrest and the subsequent publicity surrounding the case, Loudoun County prosecutors have received calls from other individuals across the country alleging inappropriate conduct by Bevel.
 
Source:
“Civil Rights Leader Released on Bond; Man Had Been Indicted on an Incest Charge,”  Washington Post, June 17, 2007

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Opinion

The Duke Lacrosse Case: Cheers can't drown out painful truths
Public brawl over rape allegations reminds us of the price women sometimes must pay for being heard
by Anne K. Ream
 
Supporters of the Duke University lacrosse team are in a celebratory mood. The team excelled in last month's NCAA tournament. And just last week, the prosecutor who filed rape charges against three of the team's players was himself put on trial, accused of ethics violations in pursuing a case fraught with problems.
 
The young men who narrowly lost to rival Johns Hopkins in the NCAA championship game are indeed gifted and resilient athletes. But praising the players as "outstanding" and "upstanding" young men, as the Duke Lacrosse Booster Club did in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, is a reminder of just how low the bar has fallen when it comes to acceptable male behavior. Legal vindication is not moral vindication, no matter how hard a PR campaign works to make it so.
 
We may never know everything that occurred on the night of March 13, 2006, when the Duke lacrosse players threw a team party at an off-campus house. But what we do know is troubling enough.
 
Photos taken at the party show two young women, hired to perform by the players, dancing at the center of a group of largely drunken and leering men. The North Carolina attorney general's report details how one of the lacrosse players held up a broomstick during the night's events, suggesting that the women use it as a "sex toy." Another player sent a chilling group e-mail just hours after the party, musing about bringing in more "strippers" and cutting off their skin while ejaculating. Witnesses reported hearing racial slurs lobbed by partygoers.  [read more]

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Emerging Technology

Agencies Find Bulk Purchase of On-Line Training is an Effective Tool
Rape crisis centers, law enforcement agencies and other institutions are encouraged to take advantage of the bulk purchase discount now available for the On-Line Training Institute (OLTI). Introduced in January of this year by End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International, the OLTI is designed to provide comprehensive training for professionals in a variety of disciplines on the criminal justice and community response to sexual assault. The OLTI is currently accredited for law enforcement professionals in 7 states, with more states to be added soon. EVAW International will also pursue accreditation for professionals in other disciplines such as social work and nursing.
 
The standard cost for individuals to register for the OLTI is $50 per module, or $200 for those who sign up for all six modules. This already represents a $100 savings compared to the purchase of six individual modules. The group discount then offers an additional $25 savings per registrant for agencies or Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams who register 30 or more participants for all six modules. This totals $175 per trainee for registration in six OLTI modules. Because each training module generally takes from 4 to 10 hours of work to complete, this price represents an extremely cost-effective way to provide comprehensive training to a large number of staff or volunteers. As a special offer, the first five agencies who register for this bulk discount as a result of receiving this e-newsletter will receive an additional $25 per trainee savings, for a total cost of $150 per trainee.
 
The experience of one rape crisis center in a small New York community shows how the bulk discount can be beneficial. In the past, the rape crisis center found it difficult to provide cost-effective training for the small numbers of volunteers who sign-up sporadically. So the agency submitted a grant which would allow them to purchase a bulk OLTI package for 30 trainees, which is the number of volunteers they usually recruit in the course of a single year. The OLTI is seen as an effective way to bring new volunteers quickly up-to-speed. The crisis center can then schedule periodic one-day training sessions on agency-specific issues, in order to round out the training program for their new volunteers.
 
EVAW International issues a personalized certificate upon the successful completion of each training module. To find out more about the On-Line Training Institute or to register for training modules – including the free, introductory module on Effective Report Writing, click here.

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Clinical Drug Trial Offers Hope for PTSD Victims
A drug called propranolol, currently used for high blood pressure, is now in clinical trials to determine its effectiveness in treating those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition common among sexual assault survivors. According to Leslie Stahl of CBS News, if the research bears out, the results could fundamentally change the way accident victims, rape victims and even soldiers are treated after they experience trauma.  [read more]

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Online Sex Crimes Mapping
The daily national crime news web site crimeradius.com offers an interactive map of sex crimes as well as articles about sexual assaults from over 800 sources published within the last 24 hours. For more information, visit their website or click on the image below:

Crime Radius Online Sex Crimes Maping
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Legislative News

SASP Moves Closer to Funding
The Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) won two significant victories in Congress this month. The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee included $10 million in funding for SASP when it marked up its Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 appropriations bill earlier this week, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC). “Considering that SASP was not in the president’s budget for 2008, this is a remarkable achievement,” said Ilse Knecht, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the NCVC.
 
Earlier in the month, the U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee voted to fund SASP at the same level as the Senate bill in its own FY 2008 appropriations bill, according to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network). If both the Senate and House provisions hold up throughout the rest of the appropriations process, it would represent the first time SASP has been funded since it was first authorized in the Violence Against Women Act in January 2006 to support direct services to victims of sexual assault. [read more]

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House Bill Increases FVPSA Funding
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) in the House of Representatives voted earlier this month to increase funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) by $10 million, from $124.7 to $134.7 million. A percentage of the proposed increase would be dedicated for direct services to children exposed to violence. The LHHS appropriations bill will go to the full House Appropriations Committee and then to the floor for debate and vote. The Senate will go through the same process, then the two bills must be reconciled in conference and passed in both chambers before going to the White House for the President’s signature.

NCADV is also tracking four promising domestic violence bills related to enhanced services for victims of domestic violence and their children which are currently pending in the 110th Congress. The legislation focuses on services for victims in the areas of economic security and sufficiency, legal representation, and violence against children. Visit NCADV for more details about the legislation.

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New York Law Allows State to Keep Sex Offenders Jailed Longer
Last month New York became the 19th state to enact a civil commitment law, allowing the state to keep the most dangerous sex offenders incarcerated after they complete their sentence. The law provides that mental health experts must evaluate sex offenders before their scheduled release from prison to assess their risk of committing more sex offenses. A jury also will assess the risk of future crimes and a judge will then rule on continued confinement or intensive supervision after release.
 
An estimated 1,500 prisoners could be subject to civil confinement, but Governor Elliott Spitzer told the Albany Times Union that it is likely that approximately 100 of them would be confined in secure mental health facilities with another 250 who would be closely monitored. The law is already facing an appeal from a convicted rapist whose case is the first one to be argued.
 
Roger Canaff, Senior Attorney with the Bronx County District Attorney’s office and President of End Violence Against Women International will be joining the new unit in the New York Attorney General’s office which was created to handle the civil commitment cases. Based in Manhattan, Canaff will be handling the “Downstate” cases.
 
Sources:
“1st civil confinement case heard: Convicted sex offender could be held longer after sentence expires under a new state law,” Albany Times Union, April 26, 2007

“Spitzer signs confinement measure: Law allows state to keep sex offenders judged to be most dangerous behind bars, “Associated Press , March 15, 2007

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Forensic News

Guns and the DNA Left Behind
by Todd W. Bille, DNA Technical Leader
ATF National Laboratory Cente
r
Reprinted with permission from Swift & Certain, a publication of the American Prosecutors Research Institute’s Gun Violence Prosecution Program.
 
Gun violence has become a major problem in many cities. An increase in the nation’s gang activity has been one of the primary sources feeding this pandemic. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the rate of firearm violence increased between 2004 and 2005, from 1.4 to 2.0 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older.1 Identifying the persons holding these weapons and using them in the commission of violent crime has been challenging. The guns are trafficked into the country and sold on the street, and it has been very difficult to tie these weapons to the end user. As the forensic community continues to gain momentum with the development of new and expanded techniques for DNA identification, this task may begin to get easier.
 
It is widely known that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the substance found in virtually every cell in an individual’s body and has been called the “genetic blueprint.” Each person’s DNA is unique (except for an identical twin) and is constant throughout the body. DNA can be transferred through many routes. Blood can be left behind after a stabbing or saliva containing sloughed off epithelial cells from the mouth can be transferred to a cigarette butt. Recently, results have been obtained from DNA analysis of handled objects containing minute quantities of cellular material containing DNA. [read more]

1 Catalano, Shannan, Criminal Victimization, 2005, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs), September 2006, NCJ 214644.

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Special bulk purchase offer!
On-Line Training Institute for Sexual Assault Investigations

OLTI
Click here for more information

Upcoming Conferences/Training

International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Stalking
Presented by End Violence Against Women International
March 31 – April 2, 2008
New Orleans, Louisiana
Learn more

More Upcoming Conferences/Training

Jeanne Cleary Act Compliance
Security on Campus will be holding several regional trainings on Jeanne Cleary Act compliance this Summer. Learn more
 
International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) 15th Annual Scientific Assembly
"Imagine A World Without Violence"
October 17th - 21st 2007
Salt Lake City, UT
Learn more
 
Establishing Expertise as an Ethical Expert Witness: Experts and Lawyers Collaborating to Help Victims
Presented by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
August 2-3, 2007
Austin, Texas
Learn more

National Sexual Assault Conference
Presented by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
September 12-14, 2007, Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore Maryland
Learn More

People on the Move

Roger Canaff, Senior Attorney with the Bronx County District Attorney’s office and President of the Board of Directors for End Violence Against Women International will be joining the new unit in the office of the New York Attorney General which was created to handle civil commitment cases. Based in Manhattan, Canaff will be handling the “Downstate” cases.
 
Erin Gaddy, formerly a senior attorney at the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women has accepted a position as Assistant Director of the Elder/Disability Program at the National College of District Attorneys. Erin can still be reached at erin.gaddy@ndaa.org.

Featured Resources

VictimLaw Offers Unprecedented Access to Victims’ Rights Statutes
The National Center for Victims of Crime recently launched VictimLaw, a comprehensive, on-line database of state, federal, and tribal victims' rights laws and protections, developed with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. [read more]

Resources for Prosecutors

The National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women has recently published two excellent articles:

Understanding the Non-Stranger Rapist,” The Voice, Volume 1, No. 11

Victims and Witnesses with Developmental Disabilities and the Prosecution of Sexual Assault,” The Voice, Volume 1, No. 12.

Job Openings

Sex Crimes Prosecutor, Guam
The Office of the Attorney General of Guam is recruiting for an experienced sex crimes prosecutor for immediate hire. [read more]
 
Executive Director
The Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
Bozeman, Montana
Call 406.994.5682 to learn more
 
Meeting and Events Coordinator
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Sacramento, CA
Learn more

Have a job opening, conference or an announcement of a personnel change for SATI e-news?  Tell us about it at deblandrew@aol.com

 

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