SCOPE Synopsis, May 2012 #4

Critical Issues in Policing Series: Improving the Police Response to Sexual Assault

The Police Executive Research Forum held its summit on “Improving the Police Response to Sexual Assaults” on September 23, 2011, less than four months before the Federal Bureau of Investigations changed the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) definition of rape to include “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Issues addressed included The Philadelphia Model, unwarranted “unfounding” of rape cases, serial rapists, sexual assaults on university and college campuses, DNA evidence and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) programs. A survey of police agencies produced findings on the issues of: initial coding of reported crimes, policies and training, specialized units, internal and external reviews, release of information to the public, SARTs, collection of data about sexual assaults and the UCR definition of rape.

Sexual Ethics for a Caring Society Curriculum

Sexual Ethics for a Caring Society developed an innovative and meaningful sex education curriculum, including discussions of: consent, privacy, shame, love, community, desire, mutuality, responsibility and pleasure. The lessons are broken down into: democracy and moral questioning, relationships, consent, coercion, a customizable lesson, jealousy, shame, sexual stereotypes, media, sexting, pornography, prostitution, rape and rape culture, religion, and pleasure and human rights. Also included are philosophy, readings, activities, community and more.

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