Police Response to Violence Against Women

The IACP's Police Response to Violence Against Women Project, with funding from the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), focuses on the development of tools and policies to assist law enforcement in responding effectively to human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence by police officers and domestic violence and all other crimes against women.

The IACP Training tools are the most effective tools a trainer can have—I utilize every piece of information available to me and the groups I instruct leave each session with a packet of the material 

-Captain Maureen Will (Retired, Brookfield Police Department, Brookfield, CT)

Supervisor Report Review Checklists

The crimes of violence against women, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, are complex and can pose challenges to responding officers. Oftentimes, significant details are missed and necessary elements to document these crimes are left out of reports. In order to support law enforcement first-line supervisors as they review reports for stalking, strangulation, sexual assault, domestic violence, and protection order violations, the IACP created five violence against women Report Review Checklists. These tools serve to assist supervisors in ensuring that reports capture significant and comprehensive details and the totality of crimes that occurred. The checklists can also be utilized by first-responders as a training tool to highlight the specifics needed in a thorough report, and as a resource for first-responders as they complete reports, interview victims, and reflect on whether pertinent information has been effectively documented.  

Sexual Assault

Bringing Sexual Assault Offenders to Justice 

IACP’s sexual assault roll-call training video “Bringing Sexual Assault Offenders to Justice” was developed to expand our law enforcement educational efforts on the crime of sexual assault and accompany the IACP Sexual Assault Guidelines and Supplemental Report Form (See below).

The goal of this video is to help officers generate stronger cases by reframing sexual assault crimes, providing tools to conduct perpetrator focused investigations, and building an understanding of victim behavior. “Bringing Sexual Assault Offenders to Justice” will help officers identify victim trauma and provide information about victim behavior, such as delayed reporting, alcohol or substance abuse, and encounters that start out consensually, that can be used to support a sexual assault report. This video will also provide useful information detailing how perpetrators often have a history of unreported acts of sexual violence and may select victims with vulnerabilities to exploit.

A strong sexual assault training program will result in offenders being held accountable, fewer cases being dismissed, and ultimately increase successful prosecution.

Click here for video discussion guide

Bringing Sexual Assault Offenders to Justice Video


Sexual Assault Policy and Training Guidelines

The IACP created the Sexual Assault Response Policy and Training Content Guidelines to support law enforcement agencies with the development of comprehensive sexual assault policies. The Policy and Training Guidelines document includes procedure and policy recommendations that address various levels of law enforcement response from dispatch to supervisors, as well as collaborating with community partners. Additionally, these guidelines present training curriculum content that should accompany the implementation of a new or updated sexual assault policy in order to ensure that officers understand the complex nature of these crimes. A trauma-informed, victim-centered response not only facilitates a trusting relationship between law enforcement, victims, and the community, but can help to hold offenders accountable by increasing victim engagement in the criminal justice process.


Sexual Assault Investigations

Striving to strengthen sexual assault investigations and set national uniform standards for sexual assault case coding and documentation, the Police Response to Violence Against Women Project has just released IACP Sexual Assault Guidelines: Supplemental Report Form and Investigative Strategies. This educational tool consists of a supplemental report form, guidelines for case documentation, effective techniques for victim and perpetrator interviews, and a pocket “tip” card for officers. 


To order hard copies of the IACP Sexual Assault Investigative Guidelines and Supplemental Report Form, contact Rachel Apfelbaum at apfelbaum@theiacp.org.


Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement

Domestic Violence by Police Officers

Police leaders across the country have taken steps to prevent violence, reduce department liability, enhance victim safety and preserve careers by proactively confronting the issue of domestic violence committed by police officers. The IACP Domestic Violence by Police Officers Model Policy focuses on early intervention, incident response and investigation procedures and has served as a foundation for agencies across the country looking to adopt and implement policies to address this problem. 

Domestic Violence
Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking Three Part Roll-Call Training Video

Discussion Questions to accompany the IACP roll call training video, The Crime of Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide (Discussion Questions)


For more information on the IACP's Police Response to Violence Against Women efforts, contact Aviva Kurash at kurasha@theiacp.org or 800-843-4227 ext. 809.

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