Austin-Travis County

Sexual Assault Resource and Response Team

Training Day

January 14, 2019

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill

8656 TX-71, Building A

Austin, TX 78735

For questions, please reach out to Athena Crumrine—acrumrine@tlsc.org or 512-477-6000.

Turn and face the [change]: Victim Interviewing Techniques

Objectives

This workshop will educate first responders, investigators, and practitioners to:

  • Recognize the impact of trauma on victims of sexual assault

  • Employ best practices during interviews to obtain quality information from victims of sexual assault

  • Explore how bias and prejudice unknowingly make their way into our interactions with victims/survivors

  • Examine the impact myths, misconceptions, and misperceptions have on a real-life case

 

In the ever-changing landscape of sexual assault both statewide and nationally, societal expectations are high that offenders are held responsible for their crimes and victims of sexual assault are believed. In the era of the “Me Too” movement and “Not Alone,” communities are under pressure to provide the same expert level of service and skill to the crime of sexual assault that they do to other violent crimes. Law enforcement is being held to these standards in all facets of the investigation — from first response through prosecution. 

As we learn more about the complexity of the crime of sexual assault, we must change the way we respond to victims/survivors of sexual assault. It is no longer acceptable to conduct investigations with “just the facts ma’am.” We now know that trauma plays a critical role in how victims/survivors of rape respond, react, and recall.

This workshop will review best practices for conducting trauma-informed interviews as well as the incredible impact that myths, misconceptions, and misperceptions play in hindering investigations and prosecutions. These three M's can adversely influence an investigation and negatively impact the ability of those doing the work.

8:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Presenters

 

Liz Donagan

Sergant (Retired)

Austin Police Department

Neva Fernandez

Advocacy Manager

Texas Legal Services Center

Credits

TBD

Transforming Sexual Assault Services for Survivors with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Objectives

 

  • Increase understanding of societal ableism and how it contributes to a higher risk for sexual violence and increased barriers to accessing support services for sexual assault survivors with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • Identify strategies for increasing access to healing services for sexual assault survivors with IDD

  • Explore public policy proposals that could improve access to victim services for sexual assault survivors with disabilities

 

It’s fairly well established that sexual assault survivors with disabilities experience ableism and multiple barriers when seeking services and healing supports following sexual assault/abuse/exploitation ("Abused and Betrayed" Series, National Public Radio, 2018). These risks and barriers to services are particularly high for sexual assault survivors with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

 

Session participants will be invited to join the conversation and efforts as a community of advocates and sexual assault professionals to transform sexual violence services available to survivors with IDD. We will define and discuss the impacts and contributions of ableism on the societal oppression of people with disabilities and how it increases the risks of sexual assault/exploitation especially for youth and adults with IDD.

 

During this session, we will also discuss: 1.) Barriers experienced by survivors with IDD in gaining access to healing services following a sexual assault, and 2.) Why this population is so very underserved overall by the anti-sexual violence movement(s). Participants will brainstorm ways that we can increase access to survivors with IDD—including public policy changes that would improve the experience of sexual assault survivors with disabilities.  Participants will leave this session more informed about the needs, barriers, and ways they can be part of the movements to reduce risks for violence and better serve sexual violence survivors with IDD.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

 

Presenter

 

Megan Westmore, LMSW

Disability Services Project Coordinator and Educator

SAFE Alliance

 

Credits

CEU

Title IX: Responding to Sexual Misconduct on Campus

Objectives

 

As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Define Title IX and describe requirements of universities under the law

  • Identify similarities and differences between the Title IX process and criminal process

  • Understand the relationship between the University of Texas Police Department and the University of Texas at Austin Title IX when responding to sexual assault

  • Recognize the role campus support when working with student survivors

Title IX is the federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.  Title IX guidelines have expanded to require universities to prevent and respond to all forms of sex discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence (including dating and domestic violence), and stalking.

This workshop will discuss how the Title IX Office and the University of Texas at Austin have implemented services to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, and provide support to those impacted.  It will specifically focus on the unique issues that arise within the University setting, as well as how UT-Austin and UTPD have worked together to create a holistic, victim-centered response to sexual assault.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

 

 

Presenters

 

Breall Baccus

Prevention Coordinator and Advocate

The University of Texas

 

Krista Anderson

Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator

The University of Texas

 

 

Credits

 

No available credits

Civil Legal Options for Survivors

Victims of sexual assault experience immediate and long-lasting impacts from the crime. Their ability to endure participating in the criminal justice system is supported when these collateral impacts are addressed through advocacy in a variety of ways: lease terminations, employment, Title IX and education, protective orders and other family law matters, and criminal justice advocacy. This session will provide an overview of the ways advocacy in civil legal matters can support survivors of sexual assault.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Presenter

Erin Martinson

Managing Attorney

Texas Legal Services Center

Credits

TBD (CLE)

Margin to Center Approaches: Supporting Asian Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Objectives

 

To share with our fellow service providers — community partners, medical, legal, law enforcement, etc. — how to provide culturally competent services to the immigrant, refugee, and Asian communities.

 

This presentation discusses providing culturally competent services and advocacy while addressing the additional barriers that survivors face when they come from immigrant, refugee, and Asian communities. Presenters will share real-world client examples and will initiate discussions and questions from the audience in order to address the challenges we and the other service providers attending, face.

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

 

Presenters

 

Deepika Modali

Sexual Assault Coordinator  Asian Family Support Services of Austin

 

Zahra Shakur Jamal

Community Outreach and Education

Asian Family Support Services of Austin

 

 

Credits

 

TBD

Legislative Implementation

Objectives

This course will highlight and explain the recent changes to the following criminal offenses:

  • Improper Relationship between Educator and Student

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault

  • Violations of Civil Rights of a Person in Custody

  • Prostitution/Aggravated Prostitution

  • Sexual Coercion

  • Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting a Child

The primary objective of the course is to present the student with the various Law Updates of the TCOLE #3185 course in reference to the 85th Texas Legislature. The presentation will include various examples and changes to recent changes to Texas Penal Code regarding sexually based offenses in the state of Texas.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

 

 

Presenter

 

Jared Strawn

Senior Deputy Sheriff and Law Enforcement Instructor

Travis County Sheriff's Office

 

Credits

 

TCOLE

Registration is limited.

Reserve your spot today.

Breall Baccus, LMSW

Title IX Prevention Coordinator and Advocate

The University of Texas

Breall Baccus, LMSW, serves as the Prevention Coordinator and Advocate in the Title IX Office at UT-Austin. She has professional experience in student advocacy, training development and facilitation, and data analysis.  In her current role, Breall coordinates Title IX prevention and awareness efforts on campus, provides support to students impacted by interpersonal violence, and assists in the coordination of the Interpersonal Violence Peer Support Program.  Breall has a M.S.S.W from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership.

Deepika Modali

Sexual Assault Coordinator

Asian Family Support Services of Austin

 

Deepika Modali is the Sexual Assault Coordinator at the Asian Family Support Services of Austin, which provides cultural and language specific direct services and advocacy to survivors of domestic, sexual and trafficking violence in the Asian Pacific Islander and immigrant communities. She has been part of the social justice field for the past 7 years, working directly with sexual assault survivors from providing hospital accompaniment while volunteering for the SAFE Alliance in Austin, TX, coordinating development and marketing for CHETNA in Dallas, TX and supporting and advocating for her clients in her current role at AFSSA.

 

Deepika has a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and dancing.

Elizabeth Donegan

Sergeant (Retired)

Austin Police Department

Sergeant Elizabeth Donegan (Ret) is a 26-year veteran of the Austin Police Department (APD). For over nine years she led the APD Sex Crimes Unit, widely recognized for its progressive approach toward investigating sexual assault, providing better service to victims, and changing the culture surrounding the investigation of non-stranger sexual assault. Sgt. Donegan is Co-Chair of the Austin/Travis County Sexual Assault Response Resource Team (SARRT). The APD Sex Crimes Unit was recognized for its progressive approach by Human Rights Watch in their 2013 report, Improving Police Response to Sexual Assault.

 

Sgt. Donegan served as an expert testifying for the Response Systems Panel, a federal advisory committee which conducted an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under military law. She has also trained and presented at a number of training events and conferences hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense, including the U.S. Army Summit, programs at Ft. Hood and Ft. Sam Houston, and ongoing training conducted at Ft. Leonard Wood. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

 

Sgt. Donegan serves as a subject matter expert for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) on projects related to sexual assault response and investigation, including the National Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative on Violence Against Women and the roll-call training series How to Bring Sexual Assault Offenders to Justice: A Law Enforcement Response. She is a published author and frequent presenter at conferences and seminars. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the first Professional Impact Award given by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) in 2011.

Erin Martinson

Managing Attorney

Texas Legal Services Center

Erin graduated from UT School of Law in May 1999 and began working for the Women’s Advocacy Project where she assisted victims of domestic violence in various capacities, including answering a legal hotline, advocating for victims requesting emergency protective orders in municipal court and providing legal representation in criminal cases where victims were arrested for crimes related to their victimization. In 2004, she began working in the Travis County Attorney’s Office protective order division and in 2005, she became Chief of the division. In addition to representing victims of family violence, sexual assault and stalking in protective order hearings, she traveled across the state training prosecutors, advocates, law enforcement and Judges on protective order practice in. In July 2016, she was hired as the Managing Attorney for the Crime Victims program at Texas Legal Services Center. In this capacity, she supervises a staff of attorneys, paralegals and advocates responsible for operating a legal hotline for sexual assault survivors and representing victims of crime in protective orders, family law cases, crime victims’ rights, immigration matters, housing, crime victim’s compensation, and Title IX complaints across the state. She participates on the State Bar Best Practices in Protective Orders Committee, and co-chairs the Supervisor’s Committee of the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force. In June 2018, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the Battered Women’s Justice Project. Erin is also a member of the Public Policy Committee at the Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. She is a faculty member of the Institute on Domestic and Sexual Violence’s Expert Witness trainings and continues to provide technical assistance and training for allied professionals across the state on protective orders and other civil legal remedies for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. In addition, she serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas, School of Law, where she teaches Domestic Violence and the Law each Spring semester.

Jared Strawn

Senior Deputy Sheriff and Law Enforcement Instructor

Travis County Sheriff's Office

Jared Strawn is a Senior Deputy Sheriff and Law Enforcement Instructor at the Travis County Sheriff's Office. He has fifteen years of law enforcement experience.

 

In his work, he focuses on reducing use-of-force incidents by sworn staff through high-level training of defensive tactics. This extends to implementing advanced de-escalation techniques to further reduce incidents using force through voluntary compliance and fostering long-standing rapport with the community. 

 

He is dedicated to continuing to fine-tune his personal knowledge of criminal justice and develop new techniques to spread knowledge to his peers in a manner that is openly embraced by staff members.

Krista Anderson

Associate Vice President and Title XI Coordinator

The University of Texas

Krista Anderson currently serves as the Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator for the university, as of 2017. Krista has over 11 years of student affairs and higher education experience including Title IX, crisis management, threat assessment, Residential Life, and academic and career advising. Krista has been with UT Austin for 6 years, and previously oversaw Student Emergency Services and the Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL) in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Megan Westmore, LMSW

Disability Services Project Coordinator and Educator

SAFE Alliance

Megan Westmore, LMSW, is the Disability Services Project Coordinator and Educator for The SAFE Alliance. She works with transition-aged youth with disabilities to improve their understanding of healthy relationships, safer sexuality, and self-advocacy as they develop leadership skills. Before her current role, Megan worked as the SAFE Sexual Assault Advocate and Volunteer Supervisor. She supported volunteer advocates, and provided medical accompaniments to acute sexual assault survivors. 

Previously, Megan worked as the Developmental Disabilities Policy Fellow for The Arc of Texas, where she advocated with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Texas Legislature. Megan was also a Research Assistant at the University of Texas at Austin Center for Social Work Research's Institute for Organizational Excellence for several years.

Megan received her Master of Science in Social Work degree with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. She additionally holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

Neva Fernadez

Advocacy Manager

Texas Legal Services Center

Neva Fernandez is the Advocacy Manager in the Crime Victims Program at Texas Legal Services Center. This program provides direct representation to victims of violent crimes across the state of Texas.

 

She has worked exclusively with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the criminal and civil justice system. She has an M.A. from New York University in sociology and has benefitted by working as an advocate inside law enforcement, in an advocacy organization and where she is currently at in legal aid. Ms. Fernandez has spent the better part of her career interviewing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She performs direct advocacy with law enforcement, court staff, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Texas Attorney General’s office. She has written and managed over $800,000 in grants for the Travis County Attorney’s office. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Austin Travis County SARRT and conducts training in Texas on advocacy and a holistic approach to civil legal remedies for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

 

Zahra Shakur Jamal

Community Outreach and Education

Asian Family Support Services of Austin

Zahra Shakur Jamal was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Zahra and her family immigrated to the U.S. 15 years when she began her undergraduate degree at Boston College. Upon graduating from Boston College, Zahra moved to Texas where she joined her family business. She volunteered extensively with Asian, immigrant youth development programs and designed and conducted trainings for a non-profit initiative that trains volunteer social workers to provide culturally-appropriate services to immigrant families at or near the poverty line. Zahra then began law school where she worked with domestic violence survivors, victims of mortgage fraud, and spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva on food security for developing nations.

 

After passing the California Bar, Zahra and her husband started a small business in the Houston area and she moved to Austin. She currently works for Asian Family Support Services of Austin (formerly Saheli) where Zahra works primarily with immigrant and refugee families from countries ranging from Burma to Iraq. Zahra oversees the Community Outreach and Education program.