Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was invited by ICITAP Albania, to attend the Sex Crimes Investigation Training Course at the New Lenox Police Department, Illinois.
The training course was held in New Lenox Police Department, Illinois on March 5th – 9th, 2018. The Mary Ward Loreto Women Social Worker of Advice Centre in Tirana, Arveda Baholli, attended the training course. Part of the Albanian delegates, were the representatives of Albanian State Police, a translator and a psychologist.
The aim of this training course was to strength the skills and knowledge of the first responders, criminal investigators (investigative specialists) and other authorized professionals, who work on sex crimes investigation.
Albanian State Police, the social worker from MWL and a psychologist will develop a curriculum for the investigative process, procedures and policies regarding sex crimes, according to New Lenox Police.
- – The methodology of this training course included: descriptions, languages and graphical discussions. Film footage, high impact teaching, photos, and case studies of real issues, specifically designed to illustrate and support topics that were presented.
- – This training course had an inter-institutional approach, focused on the victim, management and investigation of the sex crimes. The information provided was comprehensive and focused on the specified investigation process, psychological, medical, social needs/services for the victim.
At the training participated 35 delegates including:
- US Police Service;
- Albanian Police Service;
- An Albanian Translator;
- Mary Ward Loreto;
- An Albanian Psychologist.
The Topics of the Training presented:
– In the first session of the training course, the trainer gave a good introduction and orientation of the topic, mainly on Myths and Stereotyping of Sexual Assault Cases, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sexual Assault Investigations, Rape Trauma Syndrome and Emotional First Aid.
– In the second session of the training course, the trainer was focused on a very important point of the Sex Crime: the interview. This is focused on the victim and her support, interviewing the victims and witnesses to gather evidence, pattern Identification, Investigation and Response. All this gave a wider picture of the Interviewing process, which is a process that should be improved in Albania.
– In the third session of the training course, the trainer was focused on the role of the social media in the investigation of the sex crime, controlled communications and Stress Management for Sexual Assault Investigators. The methodology of using videos and photos made the topics more clear.
– In the last session of the training course (the last two days of the training), the trainer presented Criminal Profiling Techniques for Sex Crimes Investigators, The Reliability of Eyewitness Identifications, False Allegations of Rape and the Assessment of Verbal and Written Statements to Determine Deception. All of these were explained by real case studies, from which the topics were made more concrete.
Facilitators of the event:
- Thimothy Hardiman, New York City Police Department (Retired) New York, NY
- ROBERT J. MORTON Supervisory Special Agent (retired), Federal Bureau of Investigation Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville
- SERGEANT HILARY DAVIS New Lenox Police Department, Illinois
Outcomes of the event:
- Certificates of attendance have been distributed to the participants.
- The training was very helpful and useful in developing practical approaches, examples and good structure. The experience of being in the training with the US law enforcement employee and exchange of the information was very good.
- This training gave the Albanian Participants the knowledge and confidence to develop and deliver their own course back in Albania.
PREPARED BY : ARVEDA BAHOLLI
SOCIAL WORKER, MWLW-ACT
From March 16-17th, 2018 a Workshop: “Journalistic Writing: How you can tell the stories and positions of your organization to the news-media”, took place in Lubljiana, Slovenia, and was managed by ERSTE Foundation Academy. In this workshop there were 18 representatives of organizations from different Balkan countries. Sebastian Gallander (Director of the Vodafone Foundation in Germany) was the speaker and facilitator for the training.
NGOs usually strive to put forward ideas for policy and a change in society, however, they can only succeed when their goals are recognized and understood by the public. Therefore, they need to be explained clearly through the news-media. To that end, NGOs should package their ideas into one of two main products that can be processed by journalists and editors:
- – the press release, which is written like an objective, and a factual report highlighting the new aspects of the idea and putting it into the larger political / social context
- – the article (often referred to as Op-Ed), which gives a strong, well-argued opinion about the idea and is supposed to be published under your own name – may it be in the New York Times or at huffingtonpost.com!
Offering these two products to the journalists does not guarantee that the news-media will cover it and that the respective idea will be readily embraced by the public. But it gives the NGO a fair chance to make its voice heard. To prepare the NGO for this, this workshop taught me the basic techniques of these two types of texts. At the same time, it aims helped us sharpen our writing skills overall. This course served to strengthen my sense of developing storylines and narratives that resonate with the public.
MWLW Social Worker
She is a mother of two teenage sons and a married daughter. Thanks to her many strong qualities: her courage, her fearlessness to cope with the judgments of the community where she lives and her family’s judgments , economic problems, different governmental and non governmental institutional challenges in accessing the necessary services ,she denounced her abusive husband and decided to divorce. She said ‘No’ to domestic violence and abuse .Her husband was inprisoned because of the domestic violence but within a few days he will be released from prison.
MWL has referred her case to the Social Services in Fier’s Municipality and in collaboration with other governmental and non governmental institutions, the life of this courageous woman and her son took a different path. She chose to live far away from living every minute, every day with the fear of losing her life instead she has now chosen to live in a shelter. She feels safe and released from anxiety and panic.
MWL also followed up her case with counselling, giving relevant information and engaging her in a free tailoring course.
“Life through the pages of a book” is the theme for the meetings taking place with young girls and a teacher every week at the Mary Ward Loreto Center in Fier. During these meetings the young girls and those who will take the high school graduation are receiving support for their studies. A teacher is helping the group to analyze and discuss the literary and social topics raised in the books. They also choose the books which they read and share their opinions together. The comments and questions raised have made these meetings interesting and sometimes very amusing. These young girls have the potential to change their future and others through socio-economic empowerment. They feel exited and are eager to come to these meetings and are grateful for the support received in this exam preparation time.
It is a fact that violence against women, in all forms, is on the increase and cases are becoming public in Albania. Even though women are granted equal rights by law, they still remain exposed and submissive to men’s authority. There are many social and economic factors that lead to women remaining vulnerable. The greatest factor is the lack of shelter for women and girls at risk. This has been one of the biggest challenges faced while working with women/clients at MWL Women ACT. Many women who come to the centre are at risk and need accommodation and protection. Shelters in Albania host only victims of trafficking and domestic violence when they already have the status of victim or have a protection order. This makes it difficult to refer cases who do not yet obtain such status or when the protection order is not valid. Apart from this factor, even when women do have a protection order, these shelters are very often full to capacity and cannot host new cases. Therefore most of the support given by the shelters is long after the violence has happened. It is long after the case has been proven through the courts with a witnessed denunciation confirmed by a police statement. Until then the case remains at a level of treatment and not for prevention of more harm.
Women and girls, who are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, need comprehensive support. The economic situation enforces them to remain dependent on the perpetrators. Many have already received help at MWL Women ACT centre. Women are made aware of the risk and are given advice on how to protect themselves. To help these women at ACT, we have offered them referrals to service providers in order to gain benefits from social and economic aid, employment, psychological support, and emergency food packages, in collaboration with the Food Bank Albania.