Because about two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, sexual assault cases can be difficult from the start.
A new eOPOTA course, Responding to Sexual Assault, can help law enforcement and prosecutors better understand sexual assault dynamics and how perpetrators take advantage of societal myths and misconceptions.
The course stresses a coordinated response model — from initial report through investigation. It covers investigating whether consent was given, corroborating the victim’s report, identifying potential perpetrators, and pursuing the most effective interview and investigation strategies.
“The role of other first responders is covered as well, so law enforcement officers have a strong understanding that they are not working these cases in isolation,” said Sandy Huntzinger, a victim services coordinator with the Attorney General’s Office. “They are supported by local advocates, health care providers, prosecutors, and other community support agencies in the hopes of providing the best outcome for victims of sexual assault.”
This and other eOPOTA courses offered by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy are available at www.OHLEG.org.
In addition, OPOTA will offer a classroom course, Sexual Assault Investigation, at the Richfield campus July 15–17 and the London campus Oct. 29–31. The course covers sex crime investigations, suspect/victim interviews, report writing, crime scene evidence collection, lab submission protocols, standards and testimony, legal issues, and more. For additional information or to register, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/OPOTACourses
Survey seeks information on Ohio’s sexual assault response
The Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Section is conducting a survey to better understand the challenges and barriers Ohio communities face in addressing the issue of sexual assault. Responses will assist the office in identifying where Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) exist, where resources and response to sexual assault reports are limited, and if assistance is needed to sustain an existing SART. Respondents’ specific information will not be shared outside of the Crime Victim Services Section. Click here
to take the survey.