Home Tag "SAAM"

Drawbacks of Mandating Universities Report Sexual Assaults to Police

Campus sexual assaults have received intense media attention recently—from the disputed rape allegation and pending lawsuits at Columbia University to the retracted Rolling Stone article about a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.

Such cases have ignited conversations about how to reduce the number of assaults as well as hold perpetrators accountable. One suggestion made repeatedly is to mandate that colleges and universities report assaults directly to law enforcement when they become aware of allegations. AMU's Tim Hardiman writes about why such mandates may discourage victims from reporting crimes.

Raising Awareness about Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community

In April, criminal justice faculty members at American Military University have been writing articles in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Sexual violence against those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is often overlooked due to a combination of stigma and myths. Read more from AMU professor Michelle Beshears about why it is important that the topic of sexual abuse prevention and support continues to reach those in the LGBT community.

Law Teaches Children to Disclose Sexual Abuse

Erin Merryn was a victim of child rape and sexual abuse. In an effort to help other child victims, she has dedicated her life to pushing states to adopt Erin's Law, which requires schools to teach age-appropriate curriculum about sexual abuse to students in prekindergarten through fifth-grade. The purpose of this educational effort is to get victims to disclose abuse. Read more from AMU professor Michael Beshears about the progress of this law and why it has stalled in some state legislatures.

Rohypnol: A Prescription for Date Rape

Upon ingestion, Rohypnol, known as the date rape drug, produces an intoxicated state and near-immediate amnesia that can last for more than 12 hours. These side effects have made it the drug of choice for some sexual predators who, despite efforts by lawmakers and law enforcement, continue to illegally use Rohypnol to carry out date rape with little fear of getting caught. Learn more about why this club drug is so popular and why it's so difficult to detect. 

Interview Strategies for Sexual Assault and Rape Investigations

By Nicole Cain

In sexual assault investigations, the primary responsibilities of detectives are the physical and emotional well-being of the victim, the preservation of evidence, and the apprehension of the suspect. Such investigations are challenging because detectives must conduct an in-depth interview with the victim without causing further emotional harm. AMU professor Nicole Cain, a 14-year law enforcement officer, writes about the essential elements of the interview process.

One Assault, Two Crime Scenes: The Challenge of Handling Sexual Assault Cases

The importance of processing a sexual assault crime scene properly cannot be emphasized enough. Sexual assault cases are actually two crime scenes—one is the location of the occurrence and the other is the body of the victim. These scenes require not only a comprehensive crime scene search, but also swift examination and questioning of the victim. AMU professor Dena Weiss, a 17-year crime scene investigator (CSI), explains the various pieces of evidence a CSI is searching for and collecting as well as how police officers can help preserve key evidence in sexual assault cases.