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You Have Options: An Overview of the National Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Reporting Program

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Led by law enforcement professionals working in partnership with victim advocates and experts in the field of sexual assault response and prevention, the aim of the You Have Options Program (YHOP) is to make the law enforcement response to sexual assault more effective. This presentation is from the National Center for Campus Public Safety’s (NCCPS) webinar, You Have Options: An Overview of the National Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Reporting Program. In this webinar, Detective Carrie Hull, YHOP program director, and Christia Currie, training and information specialist, discuss the 20 Elements of the YHOP, as well as the implementation process for participating law enforcement agencies, including sworn campus law enforcement agencies.

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You Have Options: An Overview of the National Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Reporting Program

  1. 1. The National Center for Campus Public Safety YOU HAVE OPTIONS: An Overview of the National Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Reporting Program 2
  2. 2. The National Center for Campus Public Safety What is YHOP? You Have Options is a program developed to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault. This response is led by law enforcement professionals working in partnership with advocacy and experts in the field of sexual assault response and prevention. 3
  3. 3. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Goals of the Program 1.  Increase sexual assault reporting by eliminating as many barriers to reporting as possible. 2.  Increase identification and prosecution of sexual offenders. 3.  Decrease sexual assault victimization. 4
  4. 4. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Uniform Response When legally permissible, each law enforcement agency participating in the program offers the same survivor-centered protocols as outlined in the 20 Elements of a Victim-Centered and Offender-Focused You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Response. 5
  5. 5. The National Center for Campus Public Safety National Program Law enforcement agencies work together across jurisdictions to offer the same options for reporting to victims of sexual assault. Currently, three states with fully implemented national YHOP law enforcement agencies: – Oregon, Colorado and Washington 6
  6. 6. The National Center for Campus Public Safety National Reporting Website www.ReportingOptions.org 7
  7. 7. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Online Reporting Form 8
  8. 8. The National Center for Campus Public Safety How to Join the Program Law enforcement agencies have personnel attend a YHOP Introductory Session and can then begin Implementation Phase: •  7 Phases •  Climate Survey’s •  Community Check-In’s •  YHOP Element’s Included in Policy •  MOU Signed •  Agency Specific Website Page 9
  9. 9. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Traditional Response Law enforcement responses for most cases are made on assumptions: •  The victim wants law enforcement involved. •  The victim wants the suspect caught and prosecuted. •  False or misleading information at any point of the investigation from the victim indicates a false report. •  Uniform approach works on all types of crimes. 10
  10. 10. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Traditional Response Traditional criminal justice response to a victim: “We’re going forward in the manner that works best for the criminal justice process.” 11
  11. 11. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Impact of a Traditional Response •  Barriers to reporting keep the majority of sexual assault victims from seeking assistance through the criminal justice system. •  Law enforcement rarely receives the information necessary to hold sexual offenders accountable. •  Offenders go on to victimize additional persons. 12
  12. 12. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Impact of a Traditional Response May increase instances of: •  Victims omitting information •  Victims not continuing with the investigation •  Victims providing false information •  Victim saying the assault did not happen to disengage from the process 13
  13. 13. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Changing the Response Any change in the way law enforcement responds and investigates sexual violence needed to be beneficial to both law enforcement and the victim to be successful. 14
  14. 14. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Changing the Response The focus should not be on, “She/he came forward and didn’t give us everything.” The focus should be on being grateful she/he came forward and gave us anything. 15
  15. 15. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Questions? 16
  16. 16. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Barriers to Reporting Top three barriers identified by victims during the development of YHOP: •  Confidentiality •  Fear of not being believed •  Delayed report 17
  17. 17. The National Center for Campus Public Safety True Collaboration •  Law Enforcement and victims move past barriers to reporting and both gain something from the process. §  Law Enforcement: Information §  Victim: Belief – Anonymity – Control 18
  18. 18. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Victim-Centered Response All participating agencies believe in providing victims of sexual assault with as much control over their report and any subsequent criminal investigation as the law allows. 19
  19. 19. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Why a Victim-Centered Response? •  Provides investigators with information they would otherwise never have had access to. •  Investigators receive more accurate information. •  Victims are more willing to identify their assailant. 20
  20. 20. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Why a Victim-Centered Response? •  Victims participate more completely within the investigative and judicial process. •  Victims are more likely to report a positive experience with law enforcement regardless of the judicial outcome. 21
  21. 21. The National Center for Campus Public Safety INCREASED REPORTING VICTIM- CENTERED RESPONSE IDENTIFIED SEXUAL OFFENDERS 22
  22. 22. The National Center for Campus Public Safety How YHOP Measures Success •  Increased Reporting •  Increased Trust •  Increased Identification of Offenders •  Increased Empathy •  Increased Victim Satisfaction with the Law Enforcement Response 23
  23. 23. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Questions? 24
  24. 24. The National Center for Campus Public Safety 20 Elements of a YHOP Response Unless legally mandated or in other rare circumstances, the following victim- centered and offender-focused options are offered during every sexual assault report and/or investigation at all You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Agencies: 25
  25. 25. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 1 A victim of sexual assault is offered three options for reporting; to include Information Only, Partial Investigation and Complete Investigation. 26
  26. 26. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 2 Sexual assault information received from any of the reporting options shall be documented in written form and retained in a way that best preserves a victim’s options and supports retrieval at a later date to aid in identifying serial sexual perpetration. 27
  27. 27. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 3 A victim or other reporting party may have questions answered regarding their options for reporting and/or a criminal investigation prior to providing any identifying or incident information to law enforcement. 28
  28. 28. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 4 A clear explanation of the reporting process and/or investigative procedures will be provided by a law enforcement officer if requested by the victim. 29
  29. 29. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 5 When making a report there is no requirement to meet in person with a law enforcement officer. For example, a victim or other reporting party may report using an online form or a victim may choose to have a sexual assault advocate report on their behalf. 30
  30. 30. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 6 Reasonable efforts will be made to allow the victim or other reporting party control over the location, time and date where their initial report is made to law enforcement. 31
  31. 31. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 7 A victim or other reporting party may provide as much, or as little, information as they choose with no time limitations or restrictions on when the information is given to law enforcement. 32
  32. 32. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 8 Law enforcement officers will offer every person reporting assistance in locating sexual assault advocacy services. 33
  33. 33. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 9 A victim may be accompanied by a sexual assault advocate or other appropriate support person during all phases of the reporting process and criminal investigation. 34
  34. 34. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 10 A victim, or other reporting party, may end an interview with law enforcement at any time without having to provide a reason. 35
  35. 35. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 11 After making a report, a victim or other reporting party will not be pressured to participate in a criminal investigation. 36
  36. 36. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 12 Reasonable efforts will be made to meet the needs of the victim and address any barriers the victim faces in providing information to law enforcement during the interview process. 37
  37. 37. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 13 Law enforcement officers will conduct victim interviews in a trauma-informed manner. 38
  38. 38. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 14 Reasonable efforts will be made to meet the needs of the victim and address any barriers the victim faces in providing information to law enforcement during the investigation. 39
  39. 39. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 15 A victim’s right to keep their assault confidential will be respected. If legally permissible, no person (outside of a law enforcement agency) will be notified the victim has reported without the victim’s consent. This includes the interviewing of identified witnesses and perpetrators. 40
  40. 40. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 16 Investigators will utilize strategies to identify and document serial sexual perpetration, such as the Inquiry into Serial Sexual Assault (ISSA). 41
  41. 41. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 17 Investigators will collaborate with victims during the investigative process and respect a victim’s right to request certain investigative steps not be conducted. Criminal investigations will be conducted at a pace set by the victim, not the law enforcement officer. Victims will be informed that no case can proceed to arrest or referral to an office of prosecution until the investigative process is complete. 42
  42. 42. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 18 A victim may disengage from a criminal investigation at any time prior to an arrest being made or the case being referred to an office of prosecution. There is no requirement that an explanation be given by the victim to law enforcement. 43
  43. 43. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 19 If legally permissible and probable cause exists for a crime, no arrest or referral to an office of prosecution will occur without the consent of the victim. All You Have Options Law Enforcement Agencies respect the choice of every victim who reports a sexual assault and understand that justice is not the same for every person who is victimized. 44
  44. 44. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Element 20 Criminal investigations that do not result in arrest or referral to an office of prosecution will be classified as “inactive” unless found baseless or false, allowing for the investigation to be re-opened in the future at a victim’s request and/or if additional information is discovered. 45
  45. 45. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Legal Mandates / Safety In some circumstances You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Agencies may be legally mandated to continue an investigation even when a victim does not want to participate. Examples include investigations involving domestic violence, child abuse or where the reported victim is still in physical danger. 46
  46. 46. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Questions? 47
  47. 47. www.margolishealy.com www.nccpsafety.org info@nccpsafety.org 1.866.817.5817 www.bja.gov

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