Attorney General Van Hollen to Address Attendees of the National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute

Sep 17 2014
Attorney General Van Hollen to Address Attendees of the National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to speak today before attendees of the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) National Training Institute, being held this week in Miami, Florida.  Attorney General Van Hollen will join other representatives from Wisconsin, including the Department of Justice’s Director of the Office of Crime Victim Services, as panelists to discuss Wisconsin’s response to addressing the needs of sexual assault survivors.


In December of 2012, Attorney General Van Hollen announced the creation of the Attorney General's Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, which is composed of a multidisciplinary group of professionals knowledgeable in the complex issues surrounding sexual assault, with the purpose of improving access to, management of and payment for sexual assault forensic exams.  As announced last month, the Attorney General’s SART is developing a consent form and procedure for victims of sexual assault to receive a medical forensic exam with the collection of evidence but to have the evidence stored at the State Crime Laboratory for a period of time while the victim decides whether to engage the services of law enforcement in the investigation of the assault. This allows victims time to work through the trauma of their assault while ensuring the collection of evidence in a timely manner.


“I’m proud of what the Department and our SART members have accomplished to better address the needs of crime victims during what could be described as the most traumatic and most difficult point in their lives,” Van Hollen said.  “Our work is far from finished, but I’m hopeful that the example we’re setting here in Wisconsin will improve crime victim response nationwide.” 


Since taking office, Attorney General Van Hollen has made addressing the issue of sexual assault a priority, by cutting the average turnaround time at the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for the analysis of evidence in sexual assault cases; by hiring and promoting an Assistant Attorney General-Violence Against Women Resource Prosecutor (VAWRP), who specializes in training and prosecuting crimes against women, including sexual assaults; and, by hiring an Assistant Attorney General to serve as the Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Trainer, who will provide training, education and technical assistance for law enforcement agencies and district attorneys statewide.  Finally, through the budget process, the Attorney General has advocated for more reliable and sufficient funding for the Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) Program, which provides funding to sexual assault service providers in many Wisconsin communities.


Members of the statewide SART were appointed by the Attorney General and include law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners, hospital administrators and policy makers.