1st Edition

Successful Prosecution of Intimate Violence Making it Offender-Focused

    146 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    146 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Offender-focused prosecution concentrates attention to the actions, decisions, choices, and motivations of the offender. Crimes of intimate violence tend to compel investigators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to fixate on the victim’s behavior to prove or disprove a case. Prosecutors can become helpless when faced with uncooperative victims, challenging facts, or attacks on the victims’ credibility. However, when the prosecution can rely on evidence and offender-focused interviewing, investigation, and case construction, there is a greater chance of success.

    This book will offer investigators and prosecutors concrete information and techniques to construct and present offender-focused cases in crimes of intimate violence. First, we will challenge the reader’s biases and assumptions about intimate violence, providing information that will dispel pervasive myths and misinformation we maintain. We will explain the motivations and techniques that offenders use on their victims to ensure the victims’ silence, compliance, and resistance to prosecution. The second section will address specific steps that investigators and prosecutors can take for offender-focused prosecution, including interviewing practices, conducting evidence-based investigations, selecting and preparing a jury, and building an offender-focused prosecution through the case. The reader will be offered practical and attainable practices and skills.

    This book will be primarily intended for investigators or prosecutors. However, it will be accessible to paralegals, victim advocates, judges, and others involved in the criminal justice system to utilize.


    Section I: Building a Better Foundation: A Better You

    1. Myths and Misinformation: Barriers to Believing

    2. How Does Anyone do That?: Understanding the Mind and Motivation of Offenders

    3. What Made the Victim Act That Way?: Understanding Victim Response

    Section II: Building a Better Case: Offender-Based Evidence and Practice

    4. Building Your Case

    5. Building a Relationship with the Victim

    6. Offender-Focused Investigation

    7. Offender-Focused Interviewing

    8. Pre-trial Strategy

    9. Selecting the Right Jury

    10. Trial

    11. Evidence-Based Prosecution

    12. Conclusion: The Real Meaning of Winning

    Appendix A – Offender-Focused Interview Questions

    Appendix B – Sample Voir Dire Questions

    Appendix C – Sample Chapters for Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Cases

    Appendix D – Samples of the Use of Technology at Trial

    Appendix E – Sentencing Questions for Victims


    Bridget H. Ryan is a Special Victim Litigation Expert (SVLE) assigned to the Trial Counsel Assistance Program of the United States Army Legal Services Agency. In her capacity, she provides curriculum development, training, and technical assistance to trial counsel on sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse cases, assisting the trial team at court’s martials around the globe. She received her J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School. Prior to 2009, Ms. Ryan was the Director of Legal Hiring and Recruiting, Director of Public Affairs, and the Violence Against Women Policy Advisor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, advising the State’s Attorney of the nation’s second-largest prosecuting office on domestic violence and sexual assault. Ms. Ryan developed and presented training sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault to multidisciplinary audiences. She has been Faculty of the National College of District Attorneys, the National District Attorney’s Association, The American Prosecutors Research Institute, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Ms. Ryan was nominated for an Emmy as a co-producer of “Not in My School,” a video educating youth on the effects of hate crimes. She was named one of Illinois “Top 40 Lawyers under 40” and chosen to do a fellowship in Leadership Greater Chicago, which identifies leadership in the Chicago area, having famous alumni such as Michelle Obama, Arne Duncan, and Austan Goolsbee.

    Veronique N. Valliere is a licensed psychologist with a doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. She has over 30 years’ experience working clinically with violent offenders and their victims. She is the owner of Valliere & Counseling Associates, Inc., an outpatient treatment center for interpersonal violence, treating victims and offenders and providing consultation, training, and expert witness services. She serves on the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board, reappointed continuously since 1997. She has published and presented on the topic of sexual assault at international and national conferences. She is recognized as an expert on victim behavior and offenders, testifying nationally and internationally. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and Judiciary Committee regarding sexual assault in the military and consulted with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been interviewed for popular magazines on sexual assault and domestic violence. She has appeared on television and radio shows. Dr. Valliere is the author of Understanding Victim Response to Interpersonal Violence: A Guide for Investigators and Prosecutors and Unmasking the Sexual Offender published by Routledge.