January 2016

Domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and related crimes are not easy for law enforcement to identify, investigate, or prosecute. Nonetheless, they are pervasive issues in society, as evidenced in recent dialogue about professional athletes, the U.S. military, universities, and test backlogs. Law enforcement can benefit from a better understanding of what these crimes look like; who the victims are; and, perhaps most importantly, how to respond to those victims of trauma in a way that both meets their needs and allows for a successful case against the offender. Understanding the science of trauma and relevant risk factors can start law enforcement on the right path in responding to these crimes.