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Violence Against Women

The Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, Division of Public Safety leadership was awarded a two-year federal cooperative agreement to work directly with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women to better address national law enforcement issues. Some specific areas emphasized are sexual assault, dating violence, officer-involved domestic violence, and cultural bias as it impacts violence against women.

The intent of the agreement is to:

  • Provide training and technical assistance to STOP, Arrest, Campus and Rural Program sub-grantees on emerging law enforcement issues in coordination with ALSO (Alliance of Local Service Organizations) and other designated OVW TA providers

  • Provide targeted training and technical assistance to chiefs, sheriffs, and head law enforcement officials through various means in increase buy-in for best practices in the use of specialized units, arrest policies, the role of law enforcement in community coordinated response, and other contemporary issues

  • Develop a national training needs assessment

  • Deliver technical assistance to STOP and other OVW grantees

  • Develop regional trainings on emerging law enforcement issues to STOP grantees and others

  • Provide general and specific on-site technical assistance to STOP law enforcement sub-grantees

If you are seeking technical assistance, please review the complete list of topics and training sessions available. For more information, contact Dave Thomas.

Training Sessions:


  • The Abusive Personality & The Process of Victimization

    Understanding violence against women begins with understanding those who perpetuate it. In looking at the roots of abuse in our society, time and time again we see the presence of ill-treatment as a common denominator not only in abusers; but in victims as well. This course is designed to illustrate the effects that a dysfunctional environment can have on children growing up in that setting. The student will be informed about:
    • How a dysfunctional environment can actually begin to impact an individual at conception;
    • The potential that one’s environment has on shaping their behaviors throughout their lives
    • How the abusive personality is formed; &
    • How this process develops as well as those influences and environmental situations in which personality types of this sort are able to flourish.
    The curriculum derives much of its basis upon the work of Drs. Donald Dutton, William Pollack, and James Gabarino and their work with abusive individuals.

  • Building Better Men

    In the interest of introducing communities to how they can go about working with young boys to provide direction in their lives, this training provides a game plan to getting there. Based on the 10-12 week course entitled “Building Boys Into Men” it provides an overview of the nuts and bolts of what communities can do to guide boy in the right direction so that they can be productive members of society.

  • Building Boys Into Men

    The research on boys growing up in homes where there is intimate partner violence informs us that approximately 35% will grow up to be violent outside of the home. In addition, about 32% will grow up to be perpetrators of intimate partner violence. The good thing about those statistics is that 65% will not grow up to be violent outside of the home, and 68% will not grow up to be perpetrators of domestic violence. Again and again we find that these latter groups had common denominators…. These individuals had some adult role model in their lives who was able to show them another way, to walk the walk, to model functional ways to deal with life. With this in mind, the Building Boys Into Men training series was developed. This is a 10-12 week course targeting middle school boys. The group meets weekly for 1 hour sessions. Each session is geared to make the student think before they act, to take ownership for their behavior, and to morally challenge them to be better members of society. The theme throughout is, “You Choose The Actions; You Choose The Consequences!” Topics include, but are not limited to;
    • You Choose The Actions; You Choose The Consequences
    • Bullying
    • Constructing Violent Masculinity
    • The Message in the Music
    • Dating Violence
    • Do the Clothes Make the Man
    • Martin L. King and Non-Violence
    • Dealing With People
    • Can You Walk Away?
    • Are You In Or Out?
    • Where Do We Go From Here?
    • Violent No More
    The choices of topics for the groups are based upon the needs of the group in question. Topic areas will be created as necessary to address unlisted group needs.

  • The Coordinated Community Response

    Responding to violence against women is the responsibility of the entire community; no single entity should and/or can shoulder the entire burden. This training is designed to introduce the student into how the community as a whole can assist in preventing violence against women. The student will be taught who the “stakeholders” in their communities are. The student will learn the various responsibilities of individual stakeholders as well as how they can work collectively with their fellow stakeholders. Finally the student will be made aware that the overall objective of this response is primarily to keep victims and their children safe, and secondarily, to hold abusers accountable.

  • Crawford v. Washington & Its Effect on Domestic Violence Cases from the Investigation to Prosecution

    The Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Washington challenges the way in which evidence based prosecution cases are handled by the criminal justice system. This training looks at this Supreme Court decision as well as subsequent decisions related to this case. In addition the training takes the student through relevant issues, as they relate to intimate partner violence cases, as well as prosecutorial strategies following this decision.

  • Domestic Violence Cases: Meeting the Challenge

    Intimate partner violence cases continue to be a challenge, yet we are doing a better job and will continue to do so. This training looks at intimate partner violence cases from beginning to end. It begins with looking at the overall goal in handling these types of events and then proceeds to discuss investigatory strategy from the on-scene investigation, to particularities in interviewing victims as well as child witnesses.

  • Domestic Violence Training for Dispatchers/Call Takers & Crawford v. Washington

    Dispatchers /Call Takers are a crucial link in law enforcements response to violence against women. It is imperative that they are included in trainings on these issues just as fervently as the officers that they serve with. This training targets them, providing insight and direction to facilitate both a coordinated and effective response to intimate partner violence.

  • Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

    Around the mid 1990’s law enforcement and the health care community began to see a rise in cases in which individuals had been surreptitiously given a drug that incapacitated them, after which they sexually assaulted. This track is designed to teach the student what to look for and what to listen for when investigating a case of drug facilitated sexual assault. The student will receive a brief overview of sexual assault in general along with the latest statistical data on the subject. The student will then be introduced into the specific category of drug-facilitated sexual assault. The student will be taught how to conduct a thorough investigation in these types of cases from the beginning to the end.

  • Elder Abuse Training for Law Enforcement

    No one knows precisely how many older Americans are being abused, neglected, or exploited. It is vitally important that we are aware of the intricacies of these types of cases and that we are prepared to respond effectively. This training will educate the student on the topic of elder abuse, as well as provide her/him with tools to effectively investigate crimes perpetrated against elders.

  • Evidence Based Prosecution

    Evidence based prosecution, also known as victimless and/or pro-prosecution, is perhaps one of the most innovative developments utilized by the criminal justice system in combating intimate partner violence. This course is designed to teach the student how to effectively respond to and investigate cases of intimate partner violence. The student will be taught the techniques employed in properly investigating an evidence-based case. The student will be shown that just as in the case of a homicide, the participation of the victim during investigatory follow-up, and/or case at hand, is not necessary.

  • Full Faith and Credit and Out-of-State Orders of Protection

    Protection orders were added to those items that enjoy Full Faith and Credit (Ex. States are required under law to recognize out of state drivers license just as they would licenses issued in their own stat) with the passage of 18 USC 2265. This course of study provides the student with the facts surrounding the recognition of orders of protection regardless of where that order of protection originates. The student will be provided with the parameters for orders of protection which qualify for recognition whether they are issued within their jurisdiction, city, county, state, federal reservation, US territory, and or Indian Tribal Land, or whether they are issued outside of their jurisdiction, city, county, state, federal reservation, US territory, and or Indian Tribal Land. The student will learn that out-of-state orders of protection, that meet the requisite requirements, are to be treated the same as any qualifying order of protection that is issued within their perspective state.

  • The Health Care Response to Domestic Violence

    Health care providers play a vital role in our community; they are one of the many stakeholders that can play an integral role in combating intimate partner violence. This course of study is geared towards health care providers. In addition to educating them on intimate partner violence, the course teaches them how they can do their part as a community stakeholder in primarily helping to maintain safety for victims and their children and secondarily promoting abuser accountability.

  • Identification of Family Violence in the Family Setting

    Violence in our society is an equal opportunity employer. This course of study defines relationship abuse and whom it affects. An overview of violence against women and its effects on our society is explored complete with a statistical analysis. Abuse indicators are provided for groups including adults, children, teens, family, and friends. A discussion of the progression of violence from pre-battering through severe levels of violence is provided. Dating violence is discussed as well as how one can go about broaching the subject of dating violence with their own teen.

  • Interviewing Victims of Abuse: The Key to Getting it Right

    In this two day training, participants will learn in a multi-disciplinary team approach, some of the most innovative and effective ways to address issues related to intimate partner abuse and sexual assault. Co-led by a clinical social worker with an expertise in trauma, and a retired investigative detective with an expertise in intimate partner violence, the training will explore issues including: the latest research on sexual assault and intimate partner violence; trauma, PTSD and its multi-faceted impact on memory, dissociation, and the way an individual presents throughout the legal process and beyond. We will also discuss the vulnerability of trauma survivors to future victimization, blaming the victim and false reports. Particular emphasis will be placed on sound investigative techniques designed to enhance the efficacy and safety of the interview process. In addition, we will identify the pros and cons of incorporating the Reid Technique in the sexual assault interview. The processing of videos will be utilized in both small and large group discussions, helping participants to integrate the material into practical workplace scenarios.

  • Law Enforcement Officer Involved Domestic Violence

    It is only recently that law enforcement has taken a serious look in the mirror and come to the realization that it must both look at and address intimate partner violence within its own ranks. This course of study explores the topic of intimate partner violence when the perpetrator and/or victim are a law enforcement officer. Based on work done since 1999 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the training delve into the various challenges faced in these types of cases as well as how agencies should respond to these challenges. Students will be taken through a case study involving an actual officer involved intimate partner violence incident as well as provided with some of the inherent liability issues involved. Finally, the student will receive an overview of the Model Policy on Law Enforcement Involved Domestic Violence, written by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and provided technical assistance in establishing their own policy.

  • Law Enforcement Response to Children at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

    It is critical that we protect the children of our nation in every possible way. This multi-faceted training will offer guidance to first responders who respond to scenes where children find themselves in domestic situations. Further, the training will provide the format for an effective response including assessing whether children have been harmed, minimizing the impact and repercussions to the children who are present, and empowerment of children within the process as much as possible

  • Lethal Threat Assessment

    Violence in intimate partner relationships doesn’t just happen. Like the weather it is predictable. In order to forecast the storm one must be aware of the indicators. One must know what to look for and what to listen for so that they can then make an educated guess, based on articulable facts and circumstances, as to what may occur. This course is designed to teach the student the indicators they need to be aware of, as well as how to analyze facts and circumstances to come up with a hypothesis as to what may occur given the information at hand. It should be noted that this is not an exact science; but it is the best that we have available at present in order to try to predict lethality.

  • Officer Burnout: Responding to Domestics

    One of the biggest challenges to first responders responding to initial and/or repeat calls for service with respect to intimate partner violence is maintaining a positive attitude and resisting burnout. Frustration in this area tends to have many roots; it may be a belief that the first responder’s efforts are fruitless, or being emotionally spent. What ever the reason, the fact is that burnout exists, and it must be addressed. This training addresses the issues involved and places things into context in order that the student can effectively draw the matter into focus. Once in focus, the student will be able to better realize the vital importance of their consistent and professional response.

  • Self-Defense/Predominant Aggressor

    One of the major challenges to first responders today intervening in intimate partner violence situations is figuring out who is the real victim in the incident, and who is the perpetrator. This course of study is designed to assist the student in making a determination as to who is the predominant aggressor (the most ongoing threat) in a intimate partner violence relationship. The student will be provided with tools for making these types of determinations. The student will also be taught how to effectively utilize the knowledge and skills that she/he already possesses in making these decisions. The student will be made aware of the numerous reasons why these types of decisions go a long way in primarily maintaining safety for victims and their children, and secondarily, holding abusers accountable.

  • Sexual Assault: Meeting Investigative Challenges of Non-Stranger Rape

    Sexual assault remains one of the most underreported crimes in our society. In the US as well as abroad, these crimes are overwhelmingly perpetuated by someone known to the victim. Across the nation there are still numerous unresolved issues surrounding these types of crimes. Challenges remain as to how they should be properly investigated as well as informed recognition by investigators, as well as other interveners, of the affects of trauma and its potential impact on the case. It is important that we be aware of who the predators are in society, as well as effective methods for holding those same individuals accountable for their crimes. This training places a spot light on the problem and challenges the countless mythical beliefs surrounding rape and what real rape is. In addition to defining the problem, this course will provide answers as well as state of the art innovative techniques for adequately addressing the issues raised. It will teach you what to look for and what to listen for in sexual assault cases and distill myths surrounding sexual assault. It provides insight into what needs to be done in order to adequately address the issues, as well as how to properly interpret the behavior of all involved. Finally, it will provide the attendee with numerous factors as they relate to the modus operandi of perpetrators of these types of crimes.

  • Sexual Assault & Victims With Disabilities

    Sexual assaults in and of themselves are challenging crimes to investigate and prosecute. These challenges become even more overwhelming when the victim has developmental disabilities. This training is geared towards effectively recognizing situations in which victims of sexual assault are additionally challenged with having developmental disabilities. It then goes into how first responders and/or investigators should go about conducting an efficient and thorough investigation. The training emphasizes the importance of a team approach and utilizing a coordinated response to effectively respond to these types of crime.

  • Stalking Investigation

    Stalking is a crime that has successfully flown under the radar screen for decades. The most recent National Survey done in 2006 reiterated how pervasive this crime is and additionally put a spot light on the insidiousness of Cyber-Stalking. It is only recently that the criminal justice community is starting to see this crime for what it really is. This course of study will familiarize the student with the crime of stalking as well as train them on the latest updates in investigating these types of crimes. The student will learn about the different categories of stalkers as well as which type of stalkers are the most prominent. The student will be taught how to conduct a sound investigation, as well as build a solid criminal case.

  • Strangulation Investigation: Never Let a Victim Die in Vain

    The incidence of strangulation in intimate relationships in which there is intimate partner violence is alarmingly high; yet the capturing of these types of activity on police reports and subsequent charging perpetrators criminally for such offenses is unacceptably low. This course of study is designed to teach the student how to conduct a good thorough investigation in cases in which a victim reports being strangled. The student will learn how serious these cases are, and thus, how serious they should be taken. The student will receive in-depth information on the specific symptoms first responders need to look for as well as what to listen for in these types of cases. Further, the student will be taught how to place this information in the proper perspective in order to form a solid criminal case.

  • Teen Dating Violence

    Violence in intimate relationships doesn’t just happen. It is something that starts early and needs to be recognized early. This course of study provides interveners with what it is that they should be looking for and listening for when it comes to teen dating violence as well as ways that they should intervene to stem the tide of teen dating violence. The earlier the intervention in these young lives, the better the chance that violence can be extinguished as an aspect of their interaction with others in both personal and communal relationships.

  • Trauma Survivors and Law Enforcement: Unintended Consequences & Righting the Ship

    Trauma survivors interact with law enforcement in one way or another on a daily basis. This being the case, the logical question that should be asked is, “Are officers prepared to effectively deal with trauma survivors as a subset of their daily encounters with the public?” The contention of this training is they are not. To be clear, this is seen not as a lack of desire to protect and serve, or a lack of wanting to do the right thing. Rather, it is viewed as a lack of knowledge and/or training as it relates to trauma and its potential affect on those who have experienced it.
    This training will:
    • Review some of the basic professional goals that both law enforcement and other community stakeholders have in the performance of their duties;
    • Talk about the relationship these stakeholders have to one another as well as the overlapping goals they share and possibilities for collaboration;
    • Discuss who it is that goes into law enforcement, as well as why, and how what they bring to the table might effect the way the ultimately do their job;
    • Explore how law enforcement is trained to respond to calls for service;
    • Analyze how officers are trained to interact with the public, and investigate crime(s);
    • Look at the power of knowledge, as well as the fact that we know what we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know; and finally;
    • Come up with ways in which the existing base of knowledge, in the area trauma and effectively dealing with trauma survivors, could be utilized to augment training.

  • The Undetected Rapist

    Sexual assaults in this country and abroad are overwhelmingly perpetuated by someone known to the victim. In addition, society continues to harbor mythical beliefs surrounding what real rape is. This course is designed to distill those myths as well as shed light on that category of rapist that continually has flown under the radar. This eye opening training informs the student about what to look for and what to listen for in sexual assault cases. In addition it provides insight into the modus operandi of perpetrators of these types of crimes.

  • Violence Against Women, Dating Violence, & the College Student

    Just as in every other aspect of our society, violence in intimate partner relationships of the younger individuals in our society is alive and well. This course of study provides the student with up-to-date information on the challenges faced by youth in dealing with abusive behavior, violence and dating violence. The student will be provided with statistical information on the topic of dating/intimate-partner violence including information on sexual assault for this segment of the population. In addition the student will be provided with information on proactive preventive measures in an attempt to instill a safer environment.

  • Violence Against Women: What Faith Based Communities Can Do to Help

    The clergy play a vital role in our community; they are one of the many stakeholders that can play an integral role in the combating of violence against women. This training is geared towards clergy and their faith based communities. In addition to educating them on violence against women, the course teaches them how they can do their part, as a community stakeholder, in helping to maintain victim safety and promote batterer accountability.

  • Violence Against Women 101

    Violence against women is a problem that pervades our society affecting all races, cultures, religious groups, social strata, etc. This course geared towards the novice; it is an introduction into the subject area of violence against women. The student will be provided insight on:
    • Why violence against women exist;
    • Who are the victims;
    • Who are the perpetrators;
    • What has been the traditional societal response; and
    • How are we responding to violence against women in today’s society.

  • Women’s Use of Force (Violence)

    The topic of women utilizing force (or violence) in their intimate relationships has become a topic of hot debate, especially over the past few years. This training will explore women’s use of force, in the context of intimate relationships. The student will learn the difference between men’s use of force (violence) in intimate heterosexual relationships, and force (violence) utilized by women in these same relationships. The student will learn how to place the use of (force) violence, in intimate heterosexual relationships, into context in order that they may be able to effectively form a conclusion as to who is the victim and who is the abuser in a relationship in which intimate partner violence is a factor.

  • Workplace Violence and the Connection to Violence Against Women

    The workplace is yet another area in our society that has flown under the radar screen when it comes to the role it plays in combating violence against women. This course of study is geared towards the workplace, be it public or private, large or small. The course will educate the student on intimate partner violence and how it impacts the workplace. The course will teach the students, as well as their perspective entities, how they can do their part in helping primarily to maintain safety for victims and their children and secondarily promote accountability for abusers.