The Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI) promotes justice for victims of sexual violence through multidisciplinary collaboration, leadership and resources.
The purpose of this program of MNCASA is to encourage the effective and victim-centered investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases by increasing access to protocols, training and resources. Research shows that only 16% to 20% of sexual assault victims turn to the criminal justice system for help. For a variety of reasons, victims of sexual violence have not seen the traditional system as a viable option. We work with community professionals (teams) to increase access to reporting and ensure that the response supports victims as much as possible.
The Sexual Violence Justice Institute is the result of a vision that grew out of the 5 year MN Model Protocol Project led by Victim Services of Dodge/Fillmore/Olmsted Community Corrections. That project tested a model process that community based teams could use to create an interdisciplinary, victim-centered, and coordinated response to sexual assault. The results of an independent evaluation confirmed that centralized technical assistance, training, and facilitated communication between and among teams improved the efforts of individual teams. In 2001, SVJI was created to continue and expand that work.
Expert Testimony Resources Project Advisory Groups
SVJI offers the following resources to jurisdictions and disciplines as they work to increase the accessibility of the criminal justice system to victims/survivors.
Focused training on:
The 8-step Protocol Development Cycle and community collaboration
Victim-centered approaches to investigation and prosecution, and
Consultation on team formation and sustainability issues including:
Design of team vision, mission, goals, process and system intervention options
Member roles and responsibilities
Job descriptions/characteristics of a coordinator
Flow of team energy and dealing with turnover
Engaging broader representation
Tasks associated with the 8-step process such as needs assessments, protocol writing, responder training, gathering victim experience information, community forums, monitoring and evaluation strategies, etc.
Clearinghouse of information, best practices and strategies for criminal justice professionals through the legal resources project.
Cross disciplinary conversations and skill building through training, joint initiatives and policy development.
Technical assistance and training to select grantees from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice and the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs.