Survivor Focused – What it Means In Practice

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Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present during the California College and University Police Chiefs Association’s annual training in Pismo Beach, California. I spoke on how campus law enforcement agencies can infuse their interactions with survivors and on-campus sexual assault investigations with a more trauma informed and survivor-centered lens.

As advocates, a trauma-informed lens comes naturally – our training focuses on empowering the survivor, validating their feelings and experience, and providing options and resources as we recognize that survivors are expertonestudent_support_a_friend-ART-Carly-wk-2s in their own healing.

Yesterday’s presentation was an opportunity to break down what it means to be trauma-informed and identify best practices for a survivor-focused approach for campus law enforcement, including: (1) trauma-informed interviewing strategies; (2) detailed and ongoing training for persons involved in the investigation process; and, (3) building a trusting relationship with the survivor.

Training for campus staff, administration and law enforcement is a key component in supporting survivors. We know that  survivors are more likely to engage in the criminal justice process when they are supported and, at the same time, social support is critical for victim recovery. #ItsOnUs to support survivors, hold their needs central, and believe and respect their decisions.

Shaina Brown

Shaina Brown is responsible for managing strategic communications and providing analysis on legislative issues related to sexual violence. Shaina has a background in public affairs, media relations and grant management. Shaina joined the movement to end sexual violence in 2009, serving as a volunteer for Jeans 4 Justice, a San Diego based social change organization.

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