Sexual assault victims frequently experience trauma which impacts their ability to recall events. Understanding the neurobiology of trauma and learning how to interview through a trauma-informed lens is paramount to a successful case.


Navigating the landscape of sexual assault investigations is complex.

Less than 50% of all sexual assault victims ever make a report  to police. It is critical that investigators and prosecutors  understand the complex psychological, cultural and social challenges that sexual assault victims face. Victims who speak about their assault can be misunderstood and met with a wide range of negative reactions, including: disbelief, shame, disgust, and blame. These reactions not only cause further damage to victims but hinder successful investigations and prosecutions.

Getting an accurate interview from the victim is critical.

Trauma has unique effects on the brain and, in particular, the areas of the brain responsible for processing information and remembering facts. Many sexual assault  victims experience some degree of memory loss. Victims may be able to remember, in great detail, parts of the assault, but, when asked about other aspects, their memories may be fragmented or incomplete. Some officers will make the mistake of discrediting a victim’s statement if elements of the narrative are imprecise or if a victim cannot recount an event in a clear chronological fashion.

By understanding the neurobiology of trauma and using a trauma-informed approach to interviewing, you will yield better investigatory outcomes.

This Course Includes:


What happens to the brain when it experiences trauma?  It is critical that law enforcement professionals understand that a weak narrative, “counter-intuitive behaviors”, or unexpected emotional reactions don’t automatically mean deceit.  Historically, many reactions that are attributable to trauma have been misinterpreted and considered to not be credible.  Looking at these behaviors through a trauma informed lens changes the way investigators can navigate a sexual assault investigation.


Sexual assault victims have frequently suffered trauma that impacts the encoding of memories and their ability to recount events. Interviewing victims who have experienced trauma requires a specific approach to be successful.  This course will explain how an investigator can facilitate a successful interview allowing a victim the greatest opportunity to successfully share their experience.

and more…

Register today:


Date: March 8-11, 2022

Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Registration will be run by the Department of Criminal Justice Services


Date: June 27-30, 2022

Location: Lynchburg, VA

Registration will be run by the Department of Criminal Justice Services


Date: July 25-28, 2022

Location: Winchester, VA

Registration will be run by the Department of Criminal Justice Services


Date: September 19-22, 2022

Location: Williamsburg, VA

Registration will be run by the Department of Criminal Justice Services

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