July 2019

Fair, Equitable Trauma-Informed Investigation Training

Jeffrey J. Nolan

Many colleges and universities have recognized that the quality of their sexual assault and intimate partner violence (IPV) investigations can be enhanced if they take into account the potential neurobiological effects of trauma. Institutions have sought and received training for their investigators and adjudicators on these issues, consistent with promising practices, general training requirements imposed by the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Amendments to the Clery Act, and certain state laws. A 2017 OCR Q&A document regarding Title IX, proposed regulations posted in November, 2018, and media commentary have all emphasized, however, that the content of training will be analyzed closely, and that training for investigators and adjudicators, including trauma-informed training, should be presented in a manner that is fully balanced, does not rely on sex stereotypes, and promotes fairness and equity for both complainants and respondents.

This paper, authored by Education Partner Jeffrey Nolan, summarizes some of the public and scholarly discourse on these issues, and offers suggestions for college and university administrators and counsel who are designing and/or selecting investigation training programs.

Topics Covered

  • Current Federal Pronouncements and State Laws Regarding Training-Related Issues
  • Theories Typically Covered in Trauma-Informed Training
  • Media and Scholarly Critique of These Theories
  • Promoting Fairness to All Parties Through Trauma-Informed Investigation Training

READ THE FULL WHITE PAPERFair, Equitable Trauma-Informed Investigation Training

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