Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Gender-Based Violence in Chicago

In a joint effort with the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Mayor’s Office, and subject matter experts, the National Police Foundation will a develop a training curriculum to improve law enforcement responses to gender-based violence and law enforcement sexual misconduct. There will be a focus on integrating trauma-informed responses and testimonies from gender-based violence survivors.

Project Overview

Chicagoans experience high rates of gender-based violence, yet the arrest rates for these crime incidents remain exceedingly low. Victims are hesitant to disclose incidents to law enforcement due to fear of retaliation by their perpetrator, concern regarding their immigration status, and/or lack of understanding of their rights as a victim.

The National Police Foundation (NPF), Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Mayor’s Office, and various partners will collaborate to improve law enforcement responses to gender-based violence in the City of Chicago. This project is funded by the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women under the “Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking (ICJR)” Grant Program. The curriculum developed through this project will cover:

1) How to comply with CPD policies regarding responding to allegations of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence;

2) how to interact with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in a trauma-informed manner;

3) how to refer and connect those individuals to police and City services;

4) CPD policies regarding officer sexual misconduct; and

5) testimonials from individuals with lived experiences.

Through the development and implementation of these trainings, CPD's response strives to be both effective and unbiased and account for the physical and emotional recovery of victims. In turn, this work will build community trust in the police and provide support for criminal investigations while improving public safety.

Methodology

NPF aims to identify the scope of educational materials to be translated and published, including examining already available materials at CPD and other jurisdictions, contemporary criminal justice scholarship, and evidence-based practices from technical documents. Furthermore, NPF will solicit and incorporate feedback from community-based, law enforcement, and justice system partners as well as individuals with lived experiences —through interviews and focus groups— regarding gender-based violence, law enforcement sexual misconduct, and law enforcement-involved domestic violence. Multimedia educational materials will be produced that integrate testimonials from persons with lived experiences and apply research on multimodal learning approaches for law enforcement.

Results

Interviews and focus groups with gender-based violence survivors, law enforcement, and community organizations will be conducted during the Summer of 2021. Trainings are projected to begin mid-Winter 2022.

Project Publications

Forthcoming.

Staff Contact(s)

Katherine Hoogesteyn

Katherine Hoogesteyn, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policefoundation.org
202-833-1460

More Information

Project Status: Active

Project Period:  October 2020 -

Location(s): Chicago, IL

Research Design: Non-experimental

Research Method(s): Focus groups, Interviews, Surveys

Staff Contact(s)

Katherine Hoogesteyn

Katherine Hoogesteyn, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policefoundation.org
202-833-1460