The Redwood County Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with The Minnesota County Attorney’s Association (“MCAA”) and Zero Abuse Project (“ZAP”), hosted Investigating and Prosecuting Stalking, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence, a two day training which brought together professionals from agencies across the State including law enforcement, prosecution, advocates, and social workers who listened and learned from experts.
The training was made possible, and free to attendees, by the hard work of MCAA and ZAP, and funding from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs and the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
This is the second year in a row Redwood County was selected as a host site for this training. The presenters covered an extensive list of subjects including effective patrol officer response, investigating technology-based stalking, using physical and digital evidence as corroborating evidence, suspect interviews, opening statements, closing arguments, recanting victims, jury selection, teen dating violence and sextortion, and held team case consulting where any attendee could present a question or case for assistance.
“I am so grateful to be able to work with MCAA and ZAP to bring important, high quality training sessions to rural MN. Being asked for input and to assist in developing an agenda with sessions that are specifically related to our work locally is quite the gift”, said Redwood County Attorney, Jenna Peterson.
“We certainly covered a lot in two days, but it was fantastic! My goal with any training is to break out of our silos. I am firm believer in the power of the multidisciplinary approach to these extremely difficult cases. If we can understand why the victim or survivor responds in a certain way, why the investigator is handling the investigation in certain way or why the advocate or the prosecutor are doing certain things our case only becomes stronger. When we open our minds and commit to looking through different lenses, we have the chance to reduce the trauma and to truly give the best form of justice to our victims, survivors, our justice system, and our communities.”
My hope is that we can continue to make this training happen each year. We received an overwhelming amount of support from our partner agencies. Taking two days away from your case load is no small feat for the majority of this group. Most come from small agencies that are overloaded and understaffed, and, unfortunately, the work does not stop just because they are out of the office. I don’t take their choice to attend lightly so we work hard to provide content, tools, tips, ideas, and support that each attendee can utilize when they get back on the job to perhaps lighten the load, give an old case a new perspective, or make that difficult case just a little easier.”
If you or someone you know have been a victim of stalking, teen dating violence, sextortion, human trafficking, sexual assault or domestic violence there are multiple local resources available through the Women’s Rural Advocacy Program, New Horizon’s Crisis Center, Minnesota Indigenous Women’s Society, and Redwood County Attorney Crime Victim Services. For more information on local resources visit our website: https://redwoodcounty-mn.us/crime-victim-services/ or contact Denise Kerkhoff, Redwood County Crime Victim Services Coordinator at 507-637-1399.
Redwood County Attorney
November 20, 2023