National experts in sexual assault response and investigation were on-hand at Cuesta College Wednesday, May 29, for a one-day training event for over 150 San Luis Obispo County law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim service professionals.
Event participants were educated on how sexual assault victimization impacts the memory, behavior, and recall of survivors, while focusing on how to improve community response and criminal justice.
Cal Poly Police Chief George Hughes encouraged the training and expressed the need for holding perpetrators accountable while supporting survivors of sexual assault.
“As law enforcement, our only way of holding people accountable for their crimes is if victims feel safe to come forward and report. To that end, it’s critical that we work together with advocates and other providers to ensure victims feel supported and safe to continue through the reporting process. This training ensures that our officers also have an in-depth understanding of how to recognize and respond to trauma in a compassionate and professional way, allowing us to conduct thorough and fair investigations,” Hughes said.
San Luis Obispo’s SART (Suspected Abuse Response Team) Advisory Board hosted the training event, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office, San Luis Obispo Police Department, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, and RISE.