Prosecutors' Use of Expert Testimony to Explain Victim Behavior in DV and SA Cases Webinar

06/20/2013 - 3:00pm
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Battered Women's Justice Project
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Description: Sometimes when prosecuting a defendant in a domestic violence or sexual assault case, prosecutors realize that the victim's conduct may not comport with what many believe is "typical" victim behavior. In these cases, what the victim did or did not do may seem bizarre, confusing, or otherwise inexplicable to potential jurors or the judge and, often times, severely undermines a victim's credibility. This webinar will describe common victim behaviors and dynamics in domestic violence and sexual assault cases as well as their impacts on fact finders' assessments of victim credibility. The presenter will summarize the law related to the introduction of expert testimony by the prosecution to explain victim behavior and identify experts qualified to testify on this issue. This webinar will also highlight the importance of deciding whether to introduce expert testimony in a case. In addition, it will identify ways to work with experts to prepare a case for trial even if the testimony will not be introduced. Learning Objectives At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize victim behaviors that may require explanation at trial
  • Manage personal biases or pre-conceived notions of expected victim behavior;
  • Educate judges and juries about victim behaviors and dispel myths;
  • Identify and work with experts to prepare a case for trial;
  • Apply necessary law to be able to introduce expert testimony at trial (when offered by the prosecution).

 Registration Details:This webinar is open OVW Grants to Encourage Arrest (GTEA) Grantees, LAV grantees, other OVW grantees, and the general public. It is free of charge (but you will have to pay for the phone call if you dial in).  Questions?For questions about this webinar, please contact the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women at Please put "Expert #5 Webinar Question" in the subject line. 

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