Understanding Sexual Violence: The Judicial Response to Stranger and Nonstranger Rape and Sexual Assault

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December 29, 2005


A two-day model curriculum that focuses on dealing fairly with sexual assault cases, especially nonstranger rapes. It provides interdisciplinary research from law, medicine, and the social sciences about adult victim sexual assault and invites judges to consider how this information relates to their responsibilities in the pre-trial, trial, and sentencing phases of sexual assault trials, and as leaders in the criminal justice system and the community. It suggests ways judges can minimize retraumatization of victims without undermining defendants’ constitutional rights.


Description of the Curriculum

The 300-page curriculum includes a Faculty Manual containing an explanation of how to present the curriculum as well as the substantive content to be conveyed and an exhaustive set of 22 appendices containing all the information needed to assemble a Participant Binder. If you would like the National Judicial Education Program to work with you to present Understanding Sexual Violence, please contact us and we will be happy to help you adapt this curriculum to your local law and practice.

Also available for purchase is a DVD version of NJEP’s two-day, in-person Understanding Sexual Violence curriculum. It includes courtroom vignettes, expert commentary, and a panel of judges discussing how they have used these experts' information in their own courtrooms and can be purchased here.


  • Fairness in the Courts
  • Violence Against Women and Girls


Lynn Hecht Schafran
  • National Judicial Education Program



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