This training is intended to be different than other family violence, sexual assault, and stalking training currently available to law enforcement. The main philosophical difference is the focus on a successful combination of three components we believe to be necessary and effective in dealing with family violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These components include: 1) an understanding of the dynamics involved in family violence, sexual assault, and stalking, 2) strong knowledge of the best investigative techniques, and 3) strong community commitment to dealing with these problems.
This training focuses on the needs of police officers and how they can better serve the victim and community. Although many departments have implemented forms of community policing, family violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes must have a coordinated community effort to prevent the occurrence whenever possible. When a crime occurs, law enforcement must provide services to the victims and hold offenders accountable.
This training will be taught from a law enforcement officer’s perspective to volunteers in the hope that motivated and educated officers can return to their respective departments and act as role models and trainers. Officers must realize that their own attitudes toward domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and women effect their perception of the victims of these crimes. For the most part, officers are no different than society in general and hold many of the same stereotypes regarding family violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition, officers are stressed with high call loads and reporting responsibilities. These circumstances combine to minimize the effectiveness of law enforcement. The simple truth is that for many victims, the first person they cry out to for help is the police officer. The officer’s attitude and level of professionalism has a lasting impact on the victim and can not only affect the success of the case, but can also affect the victim’s healing process and well being.