Some of the country’s top experts in domestic violence and sexual assault response met in Dallas this week for the 13th annual Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW).
Across four days of presentations and training work shops, professionals in law enforcement, prosecution, victim’s advocacy, campus safety and others shared best practices for handling some of the nation’s most troublesome crimes.
“This conference is not just important, it’s critical to the way our country responds to domestic violence, sexual assault, strangulation and other horrific crimes against women,” Jan Langbein, CEO of the Genesis Women’s Shelter and a cofounder of the conference, says.
The conference has grown every year since members of the Dallas-based non-profit Genesis Women’s Shelter decided the people responsible for combating the many and varied types of crimes impacting women should disseminate information across their fields.
“We know these crimes are all woven together,” Langbein says. “Someone who assaults his partner will also possibly sexually assault his partner and also possibly strangle his partner, and unfortunately by not having one conference that brings all this information together different police departments were scattered out and information was scattered out.”
This year’s keynote speaker was legendary criminal psychologist and author John Douglas, who served as the inspiration for the Netflix show Mindhunters, which depicts the early days of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.
Other highlights included more than 150 workshops and case studies and the announcement of the new Institute for Coordinated Community Response (ICCR). The ICCR will provide a year of training to officials in rural counties of Texas to improve their systemic response to domestic violence.
Langbein says the conference focuses on empowering attendees to prevent and respond to these horrific crimes.
“Many other conferences might have information on how bad these crimes are,” Lagbein explains. “But we are specific at CCAW to take the next step and say then what? How do we solve these? How do we prosecute these crimes?”
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