2018 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Bias

End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) is inviting abstracts for presentations to be given at our international conference which promotes innovative techniques, unique approaches, and promising practices in responding to crimes of violence against women. The EVAWI conference takes a multidisciplinary approach to training, bringing together the many professionals who respond to these crimes. The conference will be held at Chicago, IL.

Complete proposals must be submitted via email to abstracts@evawintl.org.

Conference Objectives

We are seeking applications for presentations that meet our mission and the conference objectives, which are to:

  • Improve the care and response to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking, and elder abuse
  • Improve collaboration among criminal justice and community professionals through a multidisciplinary approach
  • Improve the investigation and prosecution of those who perpetrate gender-based violence
  • Promote effective prevention and risk reduction programs

While there are a wide variety of topics that could meet these objectives, we specifically encourage proposals that address the following topic areas:

  • Eliminating gender bias in law enforcement: With new guidance issued from the U.S. Department of Justice on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, training could be provided in how to eliminate gender bias in law enforcement policies and practices in this area, including response, investigation, supervision, and agency leadership.
  • The Impact of Body-Worn Cameras and Privacy Challenges: Law enforcement agencies around the world are utilizing body-worn camera technology to strengthen evidence documentation and transparency which can improve both prosecutions and community trust. This session should address best practices surrounding this technology including policy, privacy and compliance.
  • Multidisciplinary case review: Training could address how to put together internal and external multidisciplinary teams to review gender-based crimes such as sex crimes, intimate partner violence, stalking and human trafficking, including those that are unfounded and/or deemed to be a false report, and those that are exceptionally cleared.
  • Developing and improving intimate partner violence and sexual assault investigation policies, protocols, and operating procedures: This training could offer guidance on the process of policy development, and the creation and implementation of standard operating procedures, as well as ongoing evaluation and improvement. This could include incorporating multidisciplinary input that also addresses gender bias.
  • Medical forensic exams and unfounded reports: In some communities, problems have arisen when victims report a sexual assault to law enforcement, but it is unfounded before an examination is conducted. Once the report has been unfounded, health care providers may be uncertain whether or not they should conduct a medical forensic examination. Ironically, this means that victims who DO NOT report to law enforcement have more access to a medical forensic examination in some communities, than those who do. This training would address these challenges and provide suggestions on how to overcome them.
  • After the earthquake: This training would provide a perspective on how our work has changed in the wake of VAWA forensic compliance, which requires states to certify that victims have access to a medical forensic examination free of charge and regardless of their decision to participate in the criminal justice process. What changes have we made in our systems? How well is it working? Are victims accessing this option? What are the outcomes? Are they converting to full participation at some point?
  • Creating systems change within law enforcement: This training would be provided from the perspective of someone with extensive experience supervising, managing, or otherwise enacting reforms, including gender bias in policing. It would be helpful for supervisors and commanding officers, as well as investigators who might be the ones with the passion and drive to push for reforms within their agency.
  • Supervising sex crimes and domestic violence investigators: Again, this training would be provided by someone with experience supervising investigators, to provide training for other supervisors on how to support investigators in conducting high quality investigations, and holding them accountable for standards of performance. It could also provide guidance on how performance evaluations can be used to communicate an agency's expectations, values and culture that supports eliminating gender bias in law enforcement response and investigations.
  • Conducting a self-assessment of your law enforcement agency's response to gender-based crimes: This type of self-assessment is designed to promote reforms on a systemic level. It will include evaluating the agency from top to bottom, including an examination of the policies, protocols, training, supervision, and accountability with respect to sexual assault, domestic violence, and other gender-based crimes. This session should also address the topic of how to administer victim satisfaction questionnaires, which are a critical component of any such self-assessment.
  • Investigations in the campus environment: This session should provide detailed guidance on how to conduct a criminal sexual assault investigation on campus, and explore how the Clery Act, Title IX and mandated reporting requirements can potentially impact these victims, suspects, and cases. This session may be facilitated by two professionals with different areas of expertise, including someone with extensive experience conducting criminal investigations and someone with expertise with unique campus considerations.
  • Investigations in the prison/jail/institutional environment: As with the session on campus settings, this workshop may be facilitated by two experts - one with expertise in sexual assault investigation and a second with experience in institutional settings such as jail or prison. This session should provide detailed guidance on how to conduct a sexual assault investigation in institutional settings and also explore the PREA standards for the elimination of prison rape.
  • Investigating sexual assault and domestic violence against victims with disabilities: This session may draw from the extensive material in the OnLine Training Institute (OLTI) module offered by EVAWI on this topic. Training should cover a variety of topics, including how to craft an investigative strategy -- based on factors such as the type of victim disability, whether the victim is capable of consenting to sexual activity, and whether the suspect is in a caregiver role or other position. Various stages of the investigation should then be explored, with a consideration of the specific type of disability and whether it significantly influences the victim's cognition or communication.

Selection Criteria

  • Innovation with respect to best practices
  • Quality and originality
  • Relevance to the field and multiple disciplines
  • The extent to which the presentation identifies and addresses current and emerging issues in the field
  • The extent to which the presentation bridges research and practice (proposals backed by empirical findings will be given preference)


If your application is selected, you will receive a complimentary conference registration, travel expenses, and hotel accommodations the night before and the night of your presentation(s). Priority consideration may be given to presenters who are able pay some of their travel expenses (e.g., with grant funding, agency support, personal funds).

No honorarium or speaker fee will be paid to conference presenters.

Submission Requirements

Please see the Abstract Submission Guidelines for detailed information on what to include in your application, including examples of abstracts and learning objectives.

All required information for Primary presenters and co-presenters must be completed before submitting your application. Incomplete presentation applications will not be considered.

All conference presentations are 90 minutes long.  You may propose more than one conference presentation, but all of the following documents must be submitted for each presentation, in order for it to be considered:

  • Presentation Application for each presenter
  • A CV (curriculum vitae) and/or resumé for each presenter (Survivors presenting based on their personal experience do not need to include a CV or resumé)
  • A biographical sketch for each presenter
  • An abstract describing the presentation
  • At least four measurable learning objectives for each workshop
  • Optional Supporting materials

Incomplete presentation proposals will not be considered.

Your application will not be accepted unless all required information is submitted before 5/1/2017. However, we strongly suggest submitting your proposal(s) long before the deadline, because they are reviewed in an ongoing way.

EVAWI will not generally approve presentations with more than two presenters. To discuss an exception, contact our Executive Director, Joanne Archambault.

Please email complete presentation applications and supporting documents to abstracts@evawintl.org.

All abstracts will be reviewed and decisions emailed no later than 7/1/2017.

Questions? Email abstracts@evawintl.org or call 509-684-9800.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 (All day) to Thursday, April 5, 2018 (All day)