DOJ issues updated guidance on LE response to sexual assault, domestic violence

“Eliminating gender bias is key, and can have a real impact on the safety of survivors”

By Anne Berleant 

WASHINGTON — Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta has announced new guidance for law enforcement response to and investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence. 

“Investigating cases involving sexual assault and domestic violence is challenging – it demands thorough investigations and a careful effort to avoid unintentionally worsening the victimization for survivors of these crimes,” Gupta said. 

The revision builds on the original DOJ guidance issued in 2015, which examined gender bias in law enforcement agency response to sexual assault and domestic violence, and provided eight principles that, if integrated into policies and training, could help ensure gender bias does not undermine efforts to keep victims safe and hold offenders responsible. 

The 2022 revision, based on input from law enforcement leaders, victim advocates and civil rights advocates, addresses: 

  • The need for trauma-informed law enforcement response to sexual and domestic violence 

  • How agencies can incorporate the guidance into policies and practices 

  • How gender bias can intersect with other forms of bias to disproportionately affect survivors from marginalized communities 

In conjunction with the 2022 revision, the DOJ has also posted a Police Guidance Resource List

“Eliminating gender bias in policing is a key piece in ending gender-based violence, and can have a real, immediate impact on the safety of survivors, their loved ones and their entire communities,” said Allison Randall, Office on Violence Against Women Acting Director. 

NEXT: Evolving police response to domestic violence calls

DOJ Gender Bias Guidance Summary by epraetorian on Scribd

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