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LGBT victims of sexual assault are more likely than heterosexual/cisgender victims to be assaulted by _____.
Lesley March's "Advocate Do's":
- Contact info for victim
- Lethality assessment - share with appropriate LE & JS persons
- Obtain/provide photos of child vics at current age
- Explain victim behavior to prosecutor if approachable
- Know your role, provide support, but DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE THE BUS!
- Develop a good relationship with prosecutors
- Disclosure = Apocalypse! The child's whole world changes
- You are the expert on victims! Advise your prosecutors, cops, etc. accordingly.
- Sometimes it's better for the victim/case if you keep your mouth shut!
- Don't give legal advice.
- Talk to victim, listen to victim
- Every word anybody says to a victim means something
- Don't talk to victims about other victims
- Just explain as clearly and simply as possible what they need to know now.
- No such thing as closure for many victims
- Meet victims' needs
- You're not a guide or an advisor; you're support.
Lesley March: Steps in a Criminal Case
- Filing of criminal charges
- Plea offer
- Preliminary hearing
- Set for jury trial
- Witness list
What was wrong with rape exam services prior to SANE program?
- Poor medical/forensic exams
- Long waiting periods
- Medical personnel have inadequate training on emotional safety of victims
Out of what movement did the SANE program evolve?
When did law pass allowing rape victims to get no-cost SANE exams without filing charges?
How long does SANE nurse have to get to hospital for an exam?
How long after sexual assault can sperm be located?
Up to 5-6 weeks.
Perpetrators of ♂ sexual assault:
Are likely to have multiple victims or to have committed multiple rape acts.
♂ victims are more likely to have:
- Multiple attackers (group attack)
- More physical trauma
Issues for ♂ victims:
- Stigma of being sexually assaulted
- Extra stigma being a ♂ victim
- ++ stigma being a ♂ victim of a ♂ perp
- +++ stigma in certain cultures
- Makes them feel different from other guys
What problems does the betrayal aspect of ♂ sexual assault cause?
- Worry that their sexual function has been contaminated by the sexual assault.
- "Am I normal?"
- Become enmeshed in relationships
- Base their happiness on their partners' happiness
What are the effects of traumatic sexualization on ♂ rape victims?
- May have no sex drive
- May use sex to connect
- Focus on technique to exclusion of own pleasure
- May eroticize pain (S/M may be because shame is normalized)
- Focus on normalcy - can become obsessive, "What's normal? I don't know, but I want whatever it is." Especially if 1st sex was sexual assault/abuse.
- Confused sexual boundaries, may violate others' boundaries
What are the effects of the feelings of powerlessness experienced by ♂ rape victims?
- It's possible penetration is more traumatic for adult ♂ victims
- May become perps because they can't accept the "oppressed" role
- Their reactions to trauma are less recognized or acceptable
What are the effects of sexual orientation confusion/insecurity for ♂ sexual assault victims?
- Probably where ♂ & ♀ victims differ most
- Need to be reminded of the "bodies do body things" idea
What are the effects of shame & gender shame on ♂ victims of rape?
- Hyperaversion to anything "gay"
- Poor body image, trouble with touch - must learn to enjoy gentle, nonsexual touch; must learn that touch ≠ sex
- Gender shame because perceives all ♂ are evil because of ♂ perp or that all ♂ are weak/inferior worthless because of ♀ perp
- Affects identity as and with ♂
What are the three roles available to ♂ victims?
What are characteristics of ♂ victims who take the Rescuer role?
- Excel in helping occupations: doctor, nurse, human services, social work, cop, fire, EMS, victim advocacy
- Play caretaker in relationships
How does ♂ victimization impact substance abuse?
- Another difference between ♂ & ♀ victims
- 80% of ♂ victims have substance abuse/addiction issues (compared to 11% of ♂ non-victims)
- ♂ victims use substances/other compulsive behavior to avoid/dull pain & shame
- Huge part of homeless population (95% of ♀, 87% of ♂)
- Problem with the powerlessness aspect of the recovery movement
What percentage of ♂ survivors experience long-term trauma?
With what are ♂ victims more likely to respond?
What are ♂ victims less likely to do?
- Talk about sexual assault or its sequelae
- Seek help
What are advocate roles & messages when working with ♂ victims?
- Sexual assault is not who you are, it's a thing that happened to you.
- Bodies do body things.
- Affirm masculinity, strength, competence
- Help victim understand the lies/echoes/footprints/shadows, replacing them with truth
- Be honest
- Respect courage, intelligence, & creativity
What racial group is more likely to experience interracial sexual assault?
NDNs (3x more likely)
What are additional issues for victims of color?
- White faces everywhere they look
- Less likely to report
- Less likely to seek services
- Find out about tribal traditions, especially around gender roles
- Less likely to report than African American or White ♀
- More likely to report to tribal authorities
- Safer sex practices with partner(s)
What are issues for Latina victims?
- Less likely to have job, skills, etc.
- More likely to have more children
- Cultural tradition of privacy
- Incest is common, families stay together
- Retaliation - fear of ♂s in family finding out and retaliating against perp **THIS IS HUGE**
- Strong cultural expectation to stay in relationships
What are issues for Asian victims?
- Cultural tradition of privacy
- Patriarchal, ♂ head of family decides whether to report, etc.
- Gender roles
What are issues for Muslim victims?
- Some, not all, Muslim cultures see rape as bringing shame on the family
- Some, not all, Muslim cultures require ♀ victim to marry her rapist
What are typical sources of DNA evidence?
- Biological material
- -> Blood
- -> Saliva
- -> Sweat
- -> Urine
- -> Skin tissue
- -> Semen
- On victim's body
- -> Including under fingernails
- Cigarette butts
- Drinking glasses
- Any item used to bind victim
- Anything perp touched
In what criminal cases is DNA evidence most often introduced at trial?
- Sexual assault
- Child sexual assault/abuse
- Potential to be useful in other crimes
- -> Home invasions
- -> Burglaries
- -> Drug offenses
- -> Abductions
- -> Assaults
- -> Stalking
What is CODIS, and what information does it contain?
- Combined DNA Index System
- National, state, & local databases
- Managed by FBI
- DNA from known offenders & some arrestees
- Allows crime labs to compare biological evidence from crime scenes with databases
- Does not contain DNA profiles of crime victims
- CODIS + mito
- -> Identify human remains with database of missing persons DNA (or their close family members' DNA)
Who has access to the information in CODIS?
- Not accessible to general public
- Not even accessible to most criminal justice professionals
- At each level (local, state, national), accessible only to:
- -> Database admin @ gov't lab
- -> Staff responsible for entering data
What exactly is a DNA profile?
- Set of identifiers/characteristics found at specific points on the DNA molecule = loci
- Info from 13 loci constitutes a DNA profile
- Like a fingerprint
- DNA profile can be compared to other DNA profiles for:
- -> Genetic matches
- -> Exclusions
- --> Eliminate individuals as contributors of DNA found at a crime scene
- No information about race, age, medical conditions, etc. is stored - just a series of numbers
Which offenders are required to submit samples for the database?
- Convicted sex offenders (all 50 states)
- Convicted felons (most states)
- Felony arrestees (some states)
- Any federal charge arrestee
- General trend across the country is to expand the number and types of crimes qualifying for DNA collection, including the collection of DNA samples from arrestees.
Why do victims need to provide DNA samples?
- Reference sample
- -> Anyone who was present at the crime scene
- -> Used to eliminate or include them as contributors of DNA
- -> Sexual assault cases need reference samples from consensual sex partners within the past 3-4 days
What happens to the DNA of the victim & other reference samples after they are collected? Do they go into CODIS?
- Reference samples are used only for comparison purposes, to distinguish from DNA of perp
- Reference samples are not uploaded into CODIS
- Some labs keep samples indefinitely
- Some labs return samples to the law enforcement agency that submitted it, but retain the digitalized DNA profile
- In many cases, the evidence becomes the property of the jurisdiction investigating the case.
Is a victim's name attached to zir DNA during the testing process? How is the victim's privacy protected?
- The victim's name is part of the case file.
- The original sample will be labeled with zir name and case number.
- Labs have rigid confidentiality rules.
- Strict federal laws prohibit disclosure of this confidential information for purposes other than law enforcement or prosecution.
Will the victim's personal items with potential DNA evidence (e.g., clothing) be returned? If so, when?
- Depends on several factors:
- -> May be kept indefinitely if law requires evidence used to convict be available until a specific time or occurrence (sentence has been served, exoneration, execution, etc.)
- -> May be returned as soon as prosecutor decides they are no longer needed for evidentiary purposes
- -> In some cases, a photo of the evidence may be used and the item(s) returned
- Victims should be aware that items may be damaged during the DNA testing process.
How long after a crime can DNA evidence be collected, and how long after it is collected is it still good for testing?
- Once dry, DNA is stable
- Heat and humidity destabilize DNA
- Collect ASAP
- Sexual assault
- -> Prefer <12-24 hrs but can go to <120 hrs now
What assurance is there that DNA samples are being handled properly throughout the collection, testing, and storage processes, especially as they are transported from one place to another?
- Chain of Custody (CoC)
- -> Every individual who has contact with evidence must be documented
- -> Individuals responsible for handling evidence are trained on ensuring CoC
- -> Documentation of CoC is crucial to credibility of evidence
- Of course it is possible for human error to occur at any point in the chain.
Why is DNA evidence not collected in every case?
- DNA evidence may not be available or useful in every case
- -> Perp may not leave any DNA evidence
- -> Crime scene may have been contaminated
- -> DNA results may not be helpful to prove guilt in some cases
- -> Other available evidence may make DNA unnecessary
- -> Investigators may lack training or resources for DNA collection & testing
- --> Lack of resources for testing should not prohibit DNA collection - financial support for DNA analysis is available through the federal gov't
Why does my jurisdiction limit the number of items per case that can be sent for DNA testing?
- Substantial backlog of forensic DNA evidence
- -> Some jurisdictions limit # of items to conserve resources & not compound DNA backlog
- Investigators should be trained to prioritize evidence & submit most likely items
Why can it take so long to analyze the DNA sample? Why are some cases a higher priority than others? How do I explain to a victim that her case is a lower priority than someone else's?
- Crime labs operate in a triage fashion
- -> Continually large amount of evidence to process
- -> Limited lab personnel
- Cases that are going to court get priority because of time sensitivity
- -> Case could be dismissed if evidence not ready in time
- Cases that need DNA to exclude/include known individuals as suspect get next priority
- Cases with no known suspect get lowest priority
What does it mean if DNA does/does not match the suspect?
- If DNA is a match:
- -> High probability that suspect contributed biological material found at the crime scene
- -> Does not mean suspect committed the crime
- If DNA is not a match:
- -> Suspect did not leave biological material found at the crime scene
- -> Does not necessarily mean suspect is innocent
- DNA is only part of the evidence
- Most crimes are prosecuted without DNA evidence
- Even with DNA match, other evidence is usually needed
- Results can be inconclusive
- -> Sample is contaminated or degraded
- -> Sample is insufficient to yield a result
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