Trauma is a direct result of the abuse and exploitation that offenders inflict on victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. This acute trauma, often compounded with historical trauma, impacts survivor’s ability to fully participate in the criminal justice process. As a result, a collaborative, trauma-informed response that takes historical context into consideration is essential to ensuring survivor access to justice while improving community safety.
This presentation describes various forms of trauma that victims may experience throughout their lives and as a result of an offender’s victimization. Presenters define cultural humility as a key element of a successful trauma-informed response that improves our individual, collective, and systematic responses to survivors. Additionally, the presenters provide strategies to identify, document, and introduce evidence of trauma to improve case outcomes and community safety by holding offenders accountable.
At the conclusion of this training, participants will be better able to:
• Identify signs and symptoms of trauma, and implement trauma-informed practices
• Enhance victim safety, privacy, autonomy, and participation through collaboration with allied professionals
• Practice cultural humility while preparing cases to proceed, regardless of a victim’s ability to participate in the process
Presented by Jonathan Kurland, AEquitas Attorney Advisor and Tara Patet, Senior Prosecutor, City Attorney’s Office in St. Paul, MN.
This webinar was one of eleven in a series hosted by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life between July 13th and November 30th, 2021.
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AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson presented on topics including, but not limited to, ageism, aging and capacity, perpetrator justifications and excuses, barriers to safety, and dismissing protection orders on behalf of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) in Tumon Bay, Guam.
This Prosecutors’ Resource is designed to assist with investigating and prosecuting cases involving abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of an older victim. It includes foundational knowledge on the various forms and co-occurrence of elder abuse crimes, the characteristics of victims and perpetrators, the aging body, and issues of competency and capacity that will all inform prosecutors’ decision-making in cases and interactions with victims. This Prosecutors’ Resource also provides prosecution strategies for working with older victims and addresses the individual steps and considerations for prosecuting elder abuse cases from the initial interview and investigation through sentencing.
The National Institute on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse (NIPEA) is a three-and-one-half-day course sponsored by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), and AEquitas. The Institute is designed to challenge prosecutors to reevaluate their approach to prosecuting elder abuse cases. Participants received training on the dynamics of elder abuse as well as practical skills to successfully prosecute these cases. NIPEA explores the complex issues faced by prosecutors — balancing offender accountability with the impact of criminal prosecution on victims. In addition to case evaluation and litigation skills, the curriculum examines the benefits of developing a coordinated, victim-centered community response; explains common injuries and relevant medical evidence, providing guidance on the use of medical experts; explores ethical issues confronted by prosecutors; addresses the development and improvement of culturally-specific victim services; and offers prosecutors the ability to redefine outcomes and the very nature of justice in elder abuse cases.