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Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Trainings

Trainings on Trauma Informed Response for Sexual Assault Investigations Well Received at Three Initial Venues

IACLEA unveiled this month a new subject area in its Universal Issues training series:  Sexual Assault on Campus: A Trauma Informed Response. The trainings focused on educating public safety personnel on the effects of trauma on the human brain and behavior so that investigators handle interviews more compassionately…and more effectively.

As part of IACLEA's expanded training program, the Association provided trainings at three member institutions: Arizona State University (Tempe), January 9 - 10; Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 11 - 12; and American University in Washington, DC, January 18 - 19. IACLEA capped attendance at each training to allow for audience interaction; nevertheless, in total, IACLEA educated more than 60 investigators, command staff, officers, and Title IX coordinators during this inaugural series.

The curriculum covers realities for both victims and offenders, the science of trauma and how it impacts victims, including their recall of and reaction to the event; techniques to obtain information from victims who may be experiencing the effects of trauma; investigative strategies, including discussing consent; and a discussion around Title IX and how to work more effectively with campus and local partners.



One participant, a detective, said of the training, “It’s easy to think there’s not much that can be taught in which we haven’t already heard, only to find out we are sorely mistaken.” Several other participants indicated that it was some of the best training that they had ever received.

“Arizona State University Police Special Victims Unit Detectives appreciate the IACLEA trauma informed sexual assault program because the training is directly related to SVU investigations in a college environment.  Our SVU detectives feel the Title IX explanation was thorough and provides new content to expand their background. Working with employees from other universities during the training provides a broader view of investigations, and provides networking opportunities. Our SVU detectives feel multiple agencies attending the training gives everyone a chance to network, share techniques, and ideas," said ASU Police Detective Supervisor Sgt. Jason Latella.

IACLEA Training Director Josh Bronson co-facilitated at each venue. His co-facilitators were Jim Markey and Dave Thomas. Markey has 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Phoenix Police Department, where for 14 years he directly supervised the sexual assault unit. David R. Thomas, program manager, International Association of Chiefs of Police, primarily focuses on projects pertaining to the National Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative on Violence Against Women and the Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Victims Demonstration Initiative (funded by OVC). Thomas retired from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department.

IACLEA Training Director Josh Bronson and Arizona State University Police Department Detective David Johnson both were featured in a TV story by Univision Arizona.

The training is valuable for sworn and non-sworn officers of both public and private, two-year and four-year institutions. Whether your agency conducts full criminal investigations into sexual assault or whether you turn those investigations over, all personnel that interact with victims can benefit from this training.

Need more information? Have ideas for future trainings? Want this training in your area? We may be able to make that happen. Contact Training Director Josh Bronson at 202-618-8240,

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