DOJ: AG Schimel holds sexual assault response training at UW-La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel today announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is leading a training at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for local and campus partners, to tackle the tough issues surrounding the investigation of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community.

“On college campuses, student safety is a shared responsibility between the campus and surrounding community,” said Attorney General Schimel. “When a victim of sexual assault comes forward, the campus and the community officials must be able to work together to support the survivor and provide the justice survivors deserve. I’m excited to provide DOJ’s expertise in trauma-informed response to sexual assault so that survivors of sexual assault will know that the necessary support will be there.  I also am very grateful to UW-La Crosse for hosting this important event.”

“The importance of addressing sexual violence from multiple disciplines will strengthen our response as a whole,” said UW-La Crosse Violence Prevention Specialist Ingrid Peterson, a member of the attorney general’s Sexual Assault Response Team. “Building relationships and trust among team members will help us decide if there’s an issue with how a case was handled and how we can handle it better in the future.”

The sexual assault response training provided by DOJ includes nearly 50 attendees from city, county, and campus law enforcement, sexual assault nurse examiners, campus officials, victim advocates, and prosecutors. These experts will discuss methods to partner together to more effectively respond to reports of sexual assault, support survivors, and protect campuses and communities.

“We at the La Crosse Police Department strive to ensure victims of sexual assault are receiving the best care and are being treated with the utmost respect and understanding while we investigate what is a terribly traumatic crime,” said La Crosse Police Detective Sergeant Tim O’Neill. “To meet our standard of policing we regularly train on victim centered investigative best practices and thank our partners at DOJ for bringing “Conducting Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigations on Campus and in the Community” training to La Crosse.”

Over the course of the three day training, participants will discuss numerous topics including: the difference between consent and non-consent; alcohol facilitated sexual assault; gender based crimes; and techniques for interviewing traumatized victims and developing corroboratory evidence from those interviews. Sexual assault service providers will also address the conference and provide information and resources on how best to support survivors.

The training was provided by the DOJ Division of Law Enforcement Services and the Office of Crime Victim Services.

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