In January 2003, Joanne Archambault founded End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose stated mission is to “provide effective, victim centered, multidisciplinary training and expert consultation regarding crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence.” To achieve this goal, EVAWI conducts international conferences and regional training seminars to educate the general public, law enforcement, community organizations, and others working in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault on best practices for responding to these crimes and ensuring thorough, evidence-based investigations are performed to hold offenders accountable.
The organization’s stated goals are to (a) counter crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence by ensuring a coordinated, competent, and effective response by all members of Domestic Violence Councils and Sexual Assault Response Teams and other community stake holders; (b) increase reporting of sexual assault and domestic violence by providing members of a multidisciplinary response team with information that will enable them to effectively respond to domestic violence and sexual assault; (c) identify, support, and disseminate best practices that foster men taking responsibility for ending violence against women; and (d) conduct and disseminate evidence-based research on domestic violence and the sexual assault of women by strangers and nonstrangers.
The Making a Difference project was recently started by EVAWI, in coordination with Canadian professionals, with the stated purpose of “challenging the legal process in both the U.S. and Canada to more effectively prosecute sexual offenders.” According to EVAWI, research unequivocally shows that a majority of sexual assault cases are committed by a person the victim knows. However, authorities are less likely to prosecute cases involving incidents of sexual assault if there is a relationship between the victim and the accused, there is no sign of physical injury, and the suspect is not otherwise associated with criminal activity. The project is working to address this problem by “facilitating reform in the U.S. and Canadian legal systems to challenge the status quo and more effectively prosecute incidents of adult sexual assault.”
The organization’s multidisciplinary focus is reflected in the diversity of its staff and Board of Directors. EVAWI’s founder, Joanne Archambault, spent nearly 23 years working for the San Diego Police Department before retiring in 2002. During her last 10 years with the department she supervised the Sex Crimes Unit, coauthored the San Diego County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) resource pamphlet, and produced a video on SART that is used as a popular training aid for professionals. The organization’s board of directors is comprised of sexual assault and domestic violence experts, law enforcement officials, attorneys, advocates, and health professionals who are committed to addressing national and international issues relating to domestic violence and sexual assault, with a particular focus on the role of law enforcement.
- Ryan, V. M. (2004). Intoxicating encounters: Allocating responsibility in the law of rape. California Western Law Review, 40(2), 407, 411.
- End Violence Against Women International: http://www.evawintl.org/
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