Beshear to offer training on investigating, prosecuting campus sexual assaults

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Office of Victims Advocacy will host a three-day training focused on investigating and prosecuting campus sexual assaults.

The training, Nov. 15-17 at Kentucky State University, William Exum Center, 400 East Main St., Frankfort, is for teams of law enforcement, prosecutors and advocates. Beshear will welcome participants to the training at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Campus sexual assault is far more common than most people realize,” Beshear said in a statement. “While one in five women and one in 16 men were sexually assaulted while in college, in 2015 only 36 sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement on Kentucky’s public university campuses.”

Beshear said the training provides best practices on handling aspects of a campus sexual assault for teams of local and state authorities, campus law enforcement, advocates and prosecutors.

“The goal of the training is to empower the teams to work more closely together after the training in joint investigations and prosecutions of campus sexual assault,” Beshear said.

The training offers sessions on:
· Higher education: dispelling myths to more effectively investigate and prosecute campus rape.
· Strategies for effectively investigating and prosecuting alcohol facilitated sexual assault.
· Investigating and prosecuting: lessons from survivors.
· Multiple defendant rape, witnessed rape and other complex cases.
· The neurobiology of trauma and trauma informed interviewing.
· Campus and community collaboration: implementing a trauma-informed, victim-centered and multidisciplinary approach to sexual assault cases on your campus and in your community.

Beshear said teams from numerous colleges and universities will attend the training, including all eight public universities – Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Transylvania University; University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University.

Over the past two years, Beshear and his Office of Victims Advocacy have been working to seek justice for victims of violent crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault – a core mission of his office.

In an effort to raise awareness, Beshear traveled to many of Kentucky’s colleges and universities to encourage students to participate in PSA video contests supported by his office and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs to promote the 24/7 free and confidential Sexual Assault Hotline, 800-656-HOPE.

In June, the office created a statewide map of victim advocates that includes local and regional prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. The map helps guide survivors and their families to the appropriate agency in their county or region who can counsel them and advise them of their rights as victims.

In an effort to better protect students on campus, Beshear filed lawsuits against three state universities regarding their attempts to avoid transparency and accountability in how they respond to and investigate sexual assault.