Upstream Violence Prevention: The Role of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Mitigating Gun Violence

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), also known as Red Flag Laws, are a promising tool of intervention but are relatively unknown to prosecutors across the nation. ERPOs are court orders that temporarily restrict access to firearms for individuals at elevated risk of harming themselves or others. As caseloads swell and rates of violence surge, prosecutors, law enforcement, and advocates can learn about and begin to deploy tools that can help mitigate and prevent future harm upstream— when warning signs first come to light.

This presentation is led by national experts from the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit of the King County, Washington Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Presenters discuss how criminal justice professionals can utilize ERPOs to restrict firearm access for individuals exhibiting a wide variety of high-risk behaviors. They also explore the efficacy of ERPOS to reduce gun violence.

As a result of this presentation, participants will be better able to:
-Understand the purpose and scope of extreme risk protective orders
-Incorporate extreme risk protective orders into existing protective order practice

Foundations of Sexual Violence Prosecutions: Capturing the Totality of the Sexually-Violent Offender

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting sexual violence cases. In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting sexual violence. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Jenn Dolle discuss crimes that commonly co-occur with sexual violence. They also discuss how prosecutors can assess cases to make approach charging decisions and how additional charges may enhance offender accountability as well as the safety of victims and communities.

At the conclusion of this episode, viewers will be better able to:
– Recognize that crimes of sexual violence commonly co-occur with other offenses
– Evaluate evidence and case dynamics to make appropriate charging decisions
– Ensure offenders are prosecuted for the full scope of their criminal activity

Additional resources related to this episode:
Responding to Stalking: A Prosecutor’s Guide to Stalking
– Just Exits Initiative
Prosecuting Image Exploitation
The Prosecutors’ Resource on Witness Intimidation

 

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-21-GK-02220-MUMU awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice.

Bringing Offenders into Focus: Prosecuting Image Exploitation

Image exploitation involves the nonconsensual creation, possession, or distribution of an image or images depicting victims nude, semi-nude, engaged in consensual sexual activity, or being sexually assaulted. It exposes victims to immeasurable trauma of essentially infinite duration, permanently invading their autonomy and security. As technology continues to evolve more quickly than the law, investigators and prosecutors must be prepared to address image exploitation crimes by collaborating on digital investigations; leveraging existing, if imperfect, statutes; and combating victim-blaming attitudes. 

This presentation explores the various forms of image exploitation and the types of statutes under which this abuse can be prosecuted. The presenter provides strategies to introduce relevant digital evidence while ethically safeguarding victim privacy. Resources are also be provided to support victims who would like to explore non-criminal avenues of achieving justice. 

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be better able to:
-Identify crimes of image exploitation and available statutes that may be used to prosecute offenders.
-Make charging decisions that hold offenders accountable for the full extent of their criminal behavior.
-Combat victim-blaming attitudes and articulate the harm caused by offenders who commit crimes of image exploitation.

Not Just a Credibility Contest: Sexual Violence Prosecutions That Go Beyond “Offender Said, Victim Said”

Sexual violence cases are often mistakenly reduced to a contest of credibility between the victim’s disclosure and the offender’s denial. Even though jurisdictions do not require corroboration of the victim’s testimony at trial, jurors may find it difficult to convict a defendant absent additional evidence. While crimes of sexual violence typically do not occur in front of other individuals, there are always witnesses and evidence to corroborate what happened before, during, and after the assault. By presenting the full scope of admissible evidence, prosecutors will increase the likelihood of success at trial while reducing the burden on victims.

This presentation addresses strategies and tactics to understand and explain victim disclosures through a trauma-informed lens; utilize victim behavior experts to educate fact-finders about the range of victim responses to sexual violence; and examine offender characteristics, motivations, and behaviors, as well as the impact of the offender’s actions on the victim. The presenter suggests strategies for overcoming common misconceptions at trial, including establishing a compelling trial theme, introducing evidence of the defendant’s predatory behavior, presenting corroborating evidence to support witness credibility, and recreating the reality of the crime for the jury.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be better able to:
-Maintain focus on the offender.
-Support victim and witness credibility with corroborating evidence.
-Develop and present expert testimony to explain victim behavior. -Recreate the reality of the crime at trial.

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Moving Towards Justice

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV).  In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Patti Powers discuss how motions practice can protect victims and advance prosecutions. They explore methods for analyzing cases to determine issues suitable for pretrial motion practice; ways to educate judges on novel legal and factual issues; and strategies for litigating motions to promote victim safety and privacy.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • File pretrial motions consistent with litigation strategy;
  • Educate the judge; and
  • Focus on protecting victims and holding the offender accountable.

Additional resources related to this episode:

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Bringing the Victim’s Voice into the Courtroom

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV).  In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Jon Kurland discuss how to successfully prosecute cases of domestic violence, regardless of whether the victim is available to testify at trial. They discuss how to use the rules of evidence to litigate the admission of victims’ out-of-court statements and the ways in which expert witnesses can educate the judge and the jury on victim behavior and the effects of trauma.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • Use jury selection as an opportunity to educate the jury;
  • Litigate the admission of victim statements; and
  • Offer expert testimony to explain victim behavior and provide context.

Additional resources related to this episode:

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Identifying and Combatting Witness Intimidation

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV).  In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor John Wilkinson discuss the co-occurrence of witness intimidation and intimate partner violence. They explore how collaborating with allied professionals can improve victim safety and how admitting evidence of witness intimidation can enhance prosecutions. This discussion highlights why victims of IPV often recant their reports of violence, as well as the trial techniques that can be used in the event that victims are unavailable to testify or recant their testimony.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • Identify overt and subtle forms of intimidation;
  • Proactively investigate intimidation; and
  • Litigate motions to admit evidence under the Forfeiture by Wrongdoing doctrine.

Additional resources related to this episode:

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Technology Changes, Abuse Doesn’t

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV). In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Jon Kurland discuss the role of technology in intimate partner violence cases. They explore how offenders misuse technology to perpetrate crimes and assert power and control, and they offer strategies for litigating the admissibility of digital evidence and protecting victim privacy.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • Keep up to date with technology and trends;
  • Litigate admissibility of digital evidence; and
  • Protect victim privacy.

Additional resources for this episode:

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Capturing Coercive Control

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV).  In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Jon Kurland discuss how offenders assert coercive control in abusive relationships, strategies for admitting evidence of coercive control to provide context to the violence, and when to charge co-occurring crimes. They explore how an offender’s coercive control tactics can be identified through interviews, investigation, and collaboration; how these tactics can be introduced as evidence in trial through 404(b) motions; and how coercive control may provide evidence to support additional charges, such as stalking.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • Identify offenders’ tactics of coercive control tactics;
  • Litigate the admission of other crimes, wrongs, and acts; and
  • Analyze coercive control in relation to stalking.

Additional resources related to this episode:

Intimate Partner Violence Foundations: Not Just a Box to Check: Building Trust and Rapport

This webinar is part of a 10-episode podcast-style series focused on the foundational elements of prosecuting intimate partner violence cases (IPV). In each episode, AEquitas Attorney Advisor Jane Anderson engages in conversations with other AEquitas staff, former prosecutors with years of experience prosecuting IPV. 

In this episode, Jane and Attorney Advisor Patti Powers discuss how to assess victims’ needs and provide meaningful access to appropriate services, communicate effectively with victims at all stages of a case, and improve victim disclosures. They highlight what building trust and rapport with victims may look like, challenges prosecutors may face when establishing relationships with victims, and strategies to overcome these challenges.

At the conclusion of this presentation, viewers will be better able to:

  • Build trust and rapport with victims;
  • Enhance prosecutions through improved victim disclosures; and
  • Demonstrate that the criminal justice system is a safe place for victims

Additional resources related to this episode: