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Justice Department Sponsors National Sexual Assault Response Team Conference

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 General News J E 4

More than 1,000 Attendees Expected in Austin, Texas, May 25- 27

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The sixth National Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Training Conference, funded by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), takes place in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, through Friday, May 27. A public forum featuring federal government, local agencies and leaders of victim-related organizations will immediately follow the close of the conference on Friday, May 27.

This year's conference, SART: Together We Can!, administered by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners-SART Resource Service of Minneapolis, MN, focuses on ensuring practitioners across the country have support, resources and funding to combat sexual violence and assist victims.

"Victims of sexual assault often must navigate a complicated maze of governmental and community agencies," said Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs. "SARTs help victims through that maze and promote better health and emotional outcomes for victims – and are more effective in holding perpetrators accountable."

More than 1000 victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and crime lab personnel throughout the United States will participate in the three-day training workshop, with a line-up of more than 100 speakers specializing in sexual assault. The training offers both basic and advanced information on sexual assaults, case studies, interactive opportunities, developments in forensics, and enforcing victims' rights. The conference also offers a training track specifically focusing on issues related to sexual assault in Indian Country.

In addition on May 25, OVC will release the Existe Ayuda [exis-tay i-yuda] (Help Exists) Toolkit, a resource with replicable Spanish-language tools and resources to improve cultural competence of service providers and the accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault. The National Institute of Justice, another OJP component, will issue its special report, The Road Ahead: Unanalyzed Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases, on the same day.  The report explores the ramifications -- for law enforcement, crime labs, courts and victims -- of the large number of unanalyzed sexual assault kits that have recently been discovered in cities around the country. These publications are available at: www.ovc.gov/pubs/existeayuda and

http://nij.gov/pubs-sum/233279.htm.

Highlights of the Conference

Some of the cutting edge issues to be addressed at the conference include Drug- Facilitated Sexual Assault, Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes and Sexual Assaults, Overcoming the Consent Defense: Investigation and Prosecution of Non-Stranger Sexual Assault, Responding to Native American Victims in Urban Settings, and Understanding the DNA Sexual Assault Kit Back log. In addition, plenary sessions will feature cultural presentations by Native American participants of the conference and a tribute by the Angel Band Project. The full conference agenda can be viewed at: http://www.sartconference.com/2011SARTConferenceAgenda.pdf

WHO:  Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime, OJP

WHEN:  WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY MAY 25 and 26, 2011

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Public Forum

Public and Private Partnerships: Building on Success to Reshape the

Future

WHO:  Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Susan B. Carbon, Director, Office on Violence Against Women

Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, Office of Victims of Crime

Annette Burrhus-Clay, Executive Director, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

Jim Sylvester, Chief Deputy, Travis County Sheriff's Office

Laura E. Zarate, Founding Executive, Arte Sana

WHERE:  The Austin Hilton Hotel

Governor's Ballroom, Fourth Floor

500 East 4th Street

Austin, Texas  78701

SOURCE Department of Justice



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