Researcher/Practitioner Discourse: Strangulation and Domestic Violence
Friday, December 12, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Faculty will discuss the findings of medical research from Louisville, KY on strangulation in the context of domestic violence. Faculty will consider “best practices” in DV strangulation cases for law enforcement, expert witnesses, prosecutors and judges.

William Spafford Smock, MD, MS, FACEP, FAAEM is Police Surgeon of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, the Research Assistant Professor of Military/Emergency Medicine, and the Medical Director of the Sexual Assault Nursing Program, Kelsey McKay, JD is a prosecutor in Travis County, Texas for ten years. Over the last four years she has exclusively prosecuted strangulation related crimes, and The Honorable Michael Denton has served as a Judge in Austin, Texas since 1999.

A link to the recording of this webinar can be found on the Battered Women's Justice Project website:

A Paradigm Shift: The Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI)
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 11:30am - 1:00pm, Department of Public Safety

A torn shirt, bruises or even a DNA profile developed from a sexual assault forensic evidence kit do not -- by themselves -- necessarily prove that a sexual assault or other traumatic event occurred.  They don’t even necessarily clarify the issue of consent or incapacitation, as many people assume.  However, they do tend to assist us in understanding the reality of the crime. They are traditional forms of evidence that prosecutors and defense attorneys will typically include when arguing their cases.

But what about the nightmares, posttraumatic stress, depression, muscular pain and fear? 

Although these examples of forensic psycho-physiological evidence also don’t prove the sexual assault on their own, they can provide evidentiary value – if they are carefully documented and properly explained -- by helping others to understand victimization and the impact of trauma on the way in which memories are recorded.

Unfortunately, many criminal investigations reach a dead end because they are often seen as having “insufficient evidence.”  Yet one of the most critical sources of evidence -- the victim’s statement -- is all too often overlooked or minimized in terms of the potential information and corroboration it can provide.

Physical evidence is not always available but psycho-physiological evidence almost always is, if we know what to look for and how to document it. This presentation explores ways in which psycho-physiological evidence can be identified, preserved, analyzed and presented at trial to take our cases from a one-dimensional aspect to a three-dimensional understanding of the full experience and impact of the crime and the trauma it causes. 

This webinar reviews current forensic psycho-physiological knowledge and practices, comparing what we think we know with new and exciting research and ideas for what we could do. Using the forensic experiential trauma interview approach, we can gather the best possible evidence by interviewing victims in ways that empower and calm them, so they are able to provide more accurate, coherent, consistent and persuasive narratives.

Russell W. Strand is currently the Chief of the U.S. Army Military Police School, Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division. Mr. Strand is a retired U.S. Army CID Federal Special Agent with an excess of 36 year's law enforcement and investigative, and consultation experience. Mr. Strand has specialized expertise, experience and training in the area of domestic violence intervention, critical incident peer support, and sexual assault, trafficking in persons and child abuse investigations.

He has established, developed, produced, and conducted the U.S. Army Sexual Assault Investigations, Domestic Violence Intervention Training, Sexual Assault Investigations and Child Abuse Prevention and Investigation Techniques courses and supervised the development of the Critical Incident Peer Support course. Mr. Strand has also assisted in the development and implementation of Department of Defense (DOD) training standards, programs of instruction, and lesson plans for Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC), victim advocates, chaplains, criminal investigators, first responders, commanders, and health professionals. He is a member of the Defense Family Advocacy Command Assistance Team and Department of the Army Fatality Review Board. He is also recognized as a U.S. Army and Department of Defense subject matter expert and consultant in the area of spouse and child abuse, critical incident peer support and sexual violence. He routinely conducts training for national and international organizations including Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, End Violence Against Woman International, Department of Justice, Calgary Sex Crimes Services, and Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Mr. Strand developed the DOD Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement First Responders and Investigators training modules. Mr. Strand continues to conduct interviews of child and adult victims of physical and sexual abuse and provides investigative and consultation support as requested in ongoing sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse investigations, interventions, and military and civilian criminal trials.

A link to the recording of this webinar can be found on the End Violence Against Women International's website:

Domestic Violence Response for Students with an Offending Partner who is NOT a Student
Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Nebraska Room (IMU 335)

A spotlight has been placed on sexual violence on college campuses, however it is critical we do not lose focus on the impact of relationship violence on students. In particular, when their partner may not be a student on campus or part of their college community.  This webinar during Domestic Violence Awareness Month will discuss the unique dynamics that play out in response policies and procedures when addressing this type of relationship violence.

To find out more about viewing the recording and slides from this webinar, please email Liz Willmore at OSMRC

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 12:00pm - 2:00pm, Department of Public Safety

This course is designed for law enforcement personnel in the criminal justice and community response to sexual assault.  Participants will learn about the neurobiology of trauma and its application to victims of sexual assault.  By exploring how trauma affects victims’ emotions and behavior, special attention will be given to examining how the brain processes and recalls traumatic events.  This will help law enforcement personnel and others recognize how these concepts can be applied to sexual assault investigations – with the goal of improving both victim well-being and case success.

Dr. Rebecca Campbell is a Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. She holds a Ph.D. in community psychology with a concentration in statistics, also from Michigan State University For the past 25 years, she has been conducting community-based, participatory research on violence against women and children, with an emphasis on sexual assault. Dr. Campbell’s research examines how contact with the legal and medical systems affects adult, adolescent, and pediatric victims’ psychological and physical health. Over her career, she has received external research funding from the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the 2008 Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest.

A link to the recording of this webinar can be found on the End Violence Against Women International's website:

Information about training offered in the 2015-2016 can be found here.

Information about training being offered in the current academic year can be found here.