Past SVJI Projects
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. There was an overwhelming need for free or low-cost training on the unique dynamics and misunderstandings of sexual assault. SVJI provided technical assistance, developed resources, cataloged best practices and provided regional trainings to nearly 1000 law enforcement officers, medical personnell and students.
In collaboration with the National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) of Legal Momentum, SVJI developed Minnesota-specific material for a free web course for judges and other criminal justice system professionals that covers the common legal, social science, medical and cultural issues presented by sexual violence, with a particular focus on cases involving intimate partner sexual abuse.
"Forensic Compliance" is the term we use to discuss whether rules about the medical forensic exam are being followed. VAWA requirements are that victims have access to forensic exams and evidence collection without being required to report to law enforcement and without being required to pay for the exam. This project helped to enhance the competence and confidence of medical professionals to treat and collect evidence from patients who have been sexually assaulted, while using a victim-centered approach. While there continue to be challenges with the current payment system, this project has led MNCASA to fully explore the various options and implications of changing to an alternative payment system.
Emphasizing collaboration for the successful prosecution of criminal sexual conduct cases, SVJI provides resources that prosecutors and professionals can use to become familiar with each other's work in order to increase the liklihood of good case outcomes and effective prosecutions. These involve the disciplines most central to the criminal justice system: law enforcement, victim advocates, healthcare professionals, and prosecutors.