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The three-day conference will take place on October 12-15, 2004 in Ottawa Canada, and on October 26-29 in San Diego, California. The conference will consist of three full day sessions, Wednesday through Friday, 8:30-5:30 PM. The conference will begin with pre-registration on Tuesday afternoon and an opening banquet and opening address that evening.
The Making a Difference conference will redefine the
central issues for responding to sexual violence, with particular emphasis on
assaults that do not fit the stereotype of a stranger rape (e.g., those
committed by a non-stranger, with a credible social standing, who does not use
a weapon or cause physical injury).
Participants will acquire a new frame of reference that
will facilitate more effective collaboration between police, forensic
examiners, victim advocates, and prosecutors. The outcome will be a unified
strategy among the community-participants, in which their combined effort
brings the team approach to new levels of effectiveness for:
Recognizing and effectively responding to typical sexual
Realistic Characteristics of Sexual Assault.
Understanding the importance of cultural myths and
misconceptions regarding sexual assault.
Challenges. Identifying the unique challenges faced
when investigating and prosecuting crimes of sexual assault.
Barriers. Recognizing and removing barriers to the
criminal justice system and victim services.
skills to overcome challenges to a victim’s credibility and corroborating
every possible aspect of her story while facilitating rapport and cooperation.
a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach.
Developing a New Success Measure.
Arrest is often
used as a tool to measure the outcome of a crime report.
Sexual Assault Response Teams must reevaluate these mechanisms and
question the final outcome of every case.
Implementing collaborative strategies for “Making a
Victim Support. Providing supports for victims that
take the trauma out of reporting
and going to trial by combating re-victimization.
Public Awareness. Documenting the myths and
stereotypes that make effective prosecution of sexual assaults difficult,
and challenging these biases.
Challenging the Legal Process. Raising objections and
appealing cases that in the past have fallen outside the effective
jurisdiction of the criminal justice process.
Becoming “Partners for Change”
Power of Local Collaboration. Promoting a
multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach that
helps each organization do a better job,
increasing the effectiveness of the total process.
National Social Action. Working with seven other
participant-communities to accomplish a larger goal of stimulating national
Learning Organizations. Acquiring the capacity to
stimulate structural and organizational developments in ones own agency and