Criminal Victim Studies 3


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The prosecutor is getting feedback from local law enforcement officers explaining that they are discouraged from making arrests in cases of domestic violence and child abuse. They claim that they have been neither making arrests in domestic violence situations nor arresting both parties when they go out on a call. It seems that abused women often go back to the abusers, and children who get removed from the homes where they have been abused often return after removal. These occurrences have been especially demoralizing to law enforcement.

One of your jobs in working as a Victims’ Witness Assistant is to help educate law enforcement on the nature and behaviors involved in domestic violence and child abuse. The prosecutor’s office has decided that you should present each of the following topics for the next training session:

Topic 1 Domestic Violence: Your goal is to educate law enforcement to use best practices in the investigation of domestic abuse cases. Include the following topics in your PowerPoint presentation of 5-10 slides with notes:

  • How to approach a domestic violence situation when responding to an emergency call

    When the parties should be separated
    How to interview parties
    What information needs to be in the report and why
    How to best help a victim
    What laws protect victims, including the use of protection orders
    Why victims return to abusers
    Length of time it may take to stay away from their abusers

  • Arrests

    The legal standard that is needed to make an arrest in a domestic violence case
    What evidence should be collected at the arrest
    Whether dual arrests are effective law enforcement
    How to assist domestic violence victims

    Reluctant victims
    Help for victims

Topic 2 Child Abuse: Your goal will be to educate law enforcement about the dynamics of abuse and neglect cases. Include the following topics:

  • Signs of child abuse and categories (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional)
  • Difference between the terms abuse and neglect

    Legal description of neglect

  • Use of guardian ad litem

    The legal standards that must be met in a child’s removal from the home
    Termination of parental rights

  • Requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
  • Role of court-appointed special advocates (CASA) in child abuse and neglect cases
  • Role of Social Services in abuse and neglect cases


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