Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview – A Trauma Informed Experience
When human beings experience trauma, they undergo a process that many professionals – as well as the individuals themselves — do not understand. Most of us inside and outside criminal justice have been trained to believe that when an individual experiences an event (including a traumatic event), the brain records the majority of details the criminal justice system wants to know about the event, including the “who, what where, why, when and how” – as well as other sensory and peripheral information. Therefore, when the criminal justice system responds to the report of a crime, most professionals are trained to obtain this type information. Unfortunately, trying to collect information about a traumatic event in this way may actually inhibit important psychophysiological evidence and the accuracy of the details provided.
Most of our interview techniques in the criminal justice system have been developed to question victims about peripheral information such as the color of the suspect’s shirt, a description of the suspect, the time frame of the event, and other important information. Some victims are capable of providing this type of information in a limited fashion. However, most trauma victims are not only unable to accurately provide this type of information, but when they are asked to do so they may inadvertenly provide inaccurate information and details. This frequently cause fact finders to become suspicious of the information provided.
The Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) was designed to change all of this. The tecnique has already proven to be a game changer in the investigation and prosecution of many forms of violence, including child abuse and adult sexual abuse. Use of the FETI process in domestic violence cases is also extremely promising for increasing successful interventions, investigations and prosecutions. This interview technique draws on the best practices of child forensic interviews, critical incident stress management, and neuroscience — combining them all into a simple three-pronged approach that unlocks the trauma experience in a way that we as professionals can better understand.
Between Hashtags: How being Black in America Influences a Survivor’s Response
Alexandria Taylor, Valencia Shelter Services
Alexandria uses both personal and national examples of precautions the black community routinely takes and considers in society, particularly in interactions involving law enforcement, and how this influences black survivors.
In 2015, Emmeline May wrote an article about Tea and Consent which humorously compared the question of consent and sex with forcing someone to have tea when they don’t want it. Rachel Brian of Blue Seat Studios read the blog post when it went viral and thought it would make an excellent animation. With Emmeline’s permission, Rachel and Graham Wheller, also of Blue Seat Studios, created the video. The video itself has also become viral and has been translated into at least 10 languages.
The video has been used (with permission) in official campaigns in the UK by the Crown Prosecution Service and a number of Police Forces. This simple video has been viewed worldwide over 30 million times – and has become a free curriculum tool in primary, high school and college prevention programs and presentations.
W1 The Happy Warrior:On Becoming a Happy and Effective Leader
Pam Wiseman, New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Sometimes the challenges faced by executive directors seem so overwhelming that many simply give up. Discover how you can embrace the job in a way that ultimately leads to long term satisfaction and effectiveness. In this lighthearted and inspiring look at what it really takes to be a happy and effective leader, you’ll engage in an interactive workshop format and explore how you can build on the strengths and collective wisdom of your peers. Pam shares lessons learned and the many mistakes made during her nearly 30 years as an ED. Leave with a better understanding of and appreciation for the ED role and at least three ideas that can be used immediately to meet the challenges of directing an organization. Feelings of isolation, typical of the ED experience, will be reduced as participants are empowered and enabled to form meaningful connections with their peers that last beyond the workshop.
This presentation is intended for current, past or soon to be executive directors.
W2 Are We Doing What We Think We’re Doing? Providing Trauma Informed Language Accessible Services
Cannon Han, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Attendees learn how to enhance survivor safety and victim accountability through the development and implementation of trauma-informed language accessible services.
W3 Meeting Victims Where They Are: The Transformation of Victim Services in Iowa
Laurie Schipper, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Discuss Iowa’s transition from a shelter-based service model for victims of domestic violence to a mobile advocacy, housing first model and examine the pros and cons related to the transition process and outcomes for survivors and programs.
W4 Internet Crimes Against Children
Anthony Maez, NM Office of the Attorney General
The Internet is an ever-increasing tool utilized by child sexual predators to commit crimes against children. Sexual predators gain access to children through various social media sites and exploit child sex abuse victims by posting images of child pornography on the Internet. This presentation is designed for community members to acquaint them with the mission of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in catching these predators.
A lawyer, a social worker, a victim advocate and a therapist work on a case study to discuss the reporting obligation with regard to actual child abuse as well as potential child abuse that may come up in working with domestic violence survivors. Panelists discuss approaches that are guided by their professional ethics. A CYFD representative will briefly discuss the reporting obligation from the agency’s perspective. The team will discuss the benefits of working together collaboratively in a multidisciplinary team to make a report to CYFD that will balance the duty to report with ensuring that the domestic violence survivor and the child continue to receive appropriate services.
W6 Batterer Intervention Programs in Context: Myth and Realities
Etiony Aldarondo, Provost, Albizu University
The proper use and effectiveness of “batterer intervention programs” (BIPs) has become the subject of considerable debate and controversy among domestic violence practitioners, researchers, and policy makers. More often than not, however, the controversy is caused not by data but by our repeated failure to view the function of BIPs within the appropriate contexts. This workshop reviews various contexts of relevance to understand the effectiveness of BIPs and advances a proposal for a more progressive view of services for men who batter.
W7 Self-Care – It Really is About YOU!
Working with victims and families who have undergone significant trauma will affect you in a significantly traumatic and profoundly personal way – no matter who you are. There is a principle in the field of forensic science called Lokar’s Principle which states a person will always bring something into a crime scene with them, leave something at the scene, and take something with them when they leave. The theory or emotional transfer works the same exact way. Each trauma victim brings something with them into the interview/intervention, leaves something behind – with us, and also takes something with them. Helping professionals generally receive vicarious trauma on a regular basis – often times without understanding the impact of cumulative vicarious trauma. This session will explore the many ways in which vicarious trauma is received and processed by most human beings and how trauma impacts all of us and the ones we care about. Participants will be given practical information and guidance on how to recognize cumulative trauma and avoid the devastating effects on personal health and happiness.
Explore the ways in which the reinforcement of rigid gender norms in media, among peers, and even in anti-violence education upholds rape and dating violence myths and contributes to sexual violence perpetration. Discover best practices in increasing acceptance of flexible gender norms and explore how addressing gender norms in the context of sexual violence prevention can prevent sexual violence.
W9 Reflective Supervision: A Meaningful and Mindful Approach for Supporting Staff to Support Survivors
Rachel Cox, LCSW
Address some of the specific dynamics of supervising staff within domestic and sexual violence service agencies, discuss the unique impact of our work on organizations and employees and identify why reflective supervision is a complementary model to providing effective trauma-informed services.
Learning from each other is one of the most valuable training tools around. This is your opportunity to meet in a peer-to-peer setting, taking an in-depth look at the challenges and successes in the work that we do. Share the promising practices in your agency/region and the daily challenges you face. Participate in one of two facilitated groups that align with your job description, either within the criminal justice system or community-based services. At check-in, you will be given an opportunity to provide specific topics to be raised during these facilitated discussions.
The Advocacy in Action conference seeks to present a wide variety of topics, issues and exhibits. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the following supporting organizations: the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc., the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Children’s Justice Act Advocacy Group.
These organizations neither endorse nor assume responsibility for the concepts expressed during these programs.
Children’s Justice Act Advisory Group (CJAAG)
This project was supported by Grant No. 2014-WR-AX-0016 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.