The Law Enforcement and Medical Professional Training Project (a past project of the SVJI)
This project was funded in 2007 by the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, Department of Public Safety. MNCASA requested the funding to address the overwhelming need for free or low-cost training, and because sexual assault has unique dynamics and remains largely misunderstood. The project focused on providing technical assistance, developing resources, cataloging best practices and providing regional trainings to law enforcement officers, medical personnel and students. The training focused on areas in Minnesota that have historically lacked resources and access to training. The membership of MNCASA was instrumental in coordinating training logistics. The vision of this project was to develop and deliver training across Minnesota that would enhance and improve the medical and law enforcement response to victims of sexual violence. Professionals of all levels and experiences were involved in project planning.
The training was approved for four POST credits for law enforcement officers and four CEUs for nurses and others. The content addressed basic information about sexual assault including prevalence rates, common victim response, and the effects of trauma on the brain. Tips and best practices surrounding the Sexual Assault Medical Examination and Sexual Assault Case Investigation were also covered in detail.
The training was presented 29 times across the state and reached a total of 950 people. That number represents 475 law enforcement officers, 166 medical professionals, 107 law enforcement students, 75 nursing students, and 127 people from other fields such as advocacy, social work, etc. In general, the training was well received and appreciated by the trainees and the agencies that they represented. Specifically, we received the following feedback on written evaluations:
- Having different professionals coming together and hearing examples from all areas, investigation suggestions, hearing how to support the investigation, awareness of what different professionals are doing was very beneficial.
- I have been and ED nurse for 11 years---wish I could have experienced this course much sooner.
- I was surprised how much I still had to learn. This training was outstanding and should be disseminated to the public, particularly regarding normal victim behavior, if we are to have better candidates for juries.
The grant period for this project ended in 2009, but several trainings have taken place since that time. If you're interested in bringing the training to medical and law enforcement professionals in your community, please contact SVJI to discuss feasibility.