Bill sponsored by Schaibley to improve sexual assault investigations could soon be law

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Thursday, March 18, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 18, 2021) – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) to improve sexual assault investigations across the state can now be considered by the governor to be signed into law.

According to Schaibley, officers who regularly investigate sexual assault against adults would receive specialized training on how the brain reacts to trauma, and the best investigatory techniques to use in order to build trust and rapport with victims, while collecting stronger evidence. She said trauma-informed interviewing frames questions in a way that helps the victim understand what they are being asked, and in an attitude that does not jump to conclusions or judgement. 

"Sexual assault survivors endure some of the most horrific experiences no one should ever have to face, and perpetrators of this crime must be held accountable for their actions," Schaibley said. "This bill has the potential to provide law enforcement with better tools to gather evidence without further traumatizing the victim and solve more of these cases."

Developed by police officers using information from medical studies, Schaibley said the robust, trauma-informed training is a continuation of efforts to strengthen the prosecution of sexual assault cases and the support for victims.

The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy would adapt its current sexual assault training to meet the new standards.

According to the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, 1 in 5 Hoosier women have been sexually assaulted, while 85% of assaults are not reported to police.

Senate Enrolled Act 81 is now eligible for action by the governor. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

-30-

State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24,
which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.