NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Attorney General Jason Miyares is hosting a two-day training session aimed at sexual assault investigations and how to help victims through traumatic times.
This is part of a state-wide initiative called "Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Training."
The training, hosted by the Office of the Attorney General, is for local law enforcement, sex crimes investigators, victim advocates, forensic nurses and local prosecutors.
"Sexual violence is a horrendous form of violence, but so many victims feel like it is somehow their fault or they are too afraid to come forward," Miyares said.
Miyares' presentation said if victims are too reluctant to come forward it can make prosecutions difficult to complete.
This initiative is centered on having enough rape kits on hand, interviewing suspected victims with compassion, and putting more emphasis on "cold cases" that might have sat on the shelf for years.
"I would love to say that every investigation is perfect, but it is not," said Newport News Police Chief, Steve Drew.
Drew said the revitalized effort to bring attention to sexual assault cases is instrumental, especially for their newest recruits.
According to his police department, their team has a 72% solve rate for rape cases. Drew said they will work to bring those numbers up even further, and that investigation techniques can always be improved on.
"Making sure that we are not victimizing the victim a second or third time. It's hard to tell that story, it's hard to give that information, so trying to get it done the first time and being well prepared," said Drew.
Approximately 50 detectives with the Newport News Police Department are expected to continue the training until Tuesday, Dec. 6.