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Institute To Offer Sexual Assault Victimization Webinar

April 11, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Beth Kuhles

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assaulted womanIn recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Crime Victims’ Institute is hosting its first webinar, on “Preventing Re-Victimization and Victim Blaming in the Criminal Justice System,” on Wednesday (April 17) from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

Presented by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, this will be the first in a series of webinars that will be offered through the College of Criminal Justice’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology to facilitate additional dialogue among faculty and students on the latest trends and topics in criminal justice and criminology.

“This webinar will provide valuable information for students planning on going into professions in either victim services or the criminal justice system,” said Leana Bouffard, director of the Crime Victims’ Institute. “Future law enforcement officers would benefit from learning about victim behavior and how to avoid victim-blaming in their interactions with victims to avoid potentially re-victimizing those individuals and to encourage their continuing involvement in a case. Future victim services professionals can learn how to be better advocates for victims in their interactions with the criminal justice system.”

The program will be presented by Lyn Williams, training director for TAASA, an agency committed to ending sexual violence in Texas through education, prevention and advocacy.

Williams will discuss important aspects of the experiences of crime victims, including re-victimization that may occur as a result of victim-blaming or inappropriate post-assault behavior or language by medical personnel or other organizations with which the victim has contact.

Victims also may experience re-victimization by justice system personnel upon entering the criminal justice system. Victims will lose time, suffer reductions in income, often be ignored by the criminal justice system and often remain uninformed about updates in the case such as hearing postponements, to the extent that their frustration and confusion turn to apathy and a declining willingness to further participate in system proceedings, according to Bouffard.

The session is particularly valuable to those interested in the criminal justice and victim studies fields, but it is open to any interested students or faculty from Sam Houston State University.
The criminal justice and criminology department will offer other webinars in the future on various topics in the field.

“Technological advances have allowed more efficient and timely information sharing of the latest research findings using a webinar format,” said Gaylene Armstrong, chair of criminal justice and criminology graduate programs. “Various research-based organizations offer webinar style presentations, and we want to ensure not only that our student body is aware of these learning opportunities but also support and encourage their participation however we can. An awareness of cutting edge research and new trends in our field is critical knowledge for our student body.”



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