Training Catalog

Welcome to the Zero Abuse Project Training Catalog!

You can use the filters on the to browse the full scope of training Zero Abuse Project is able to offer for your organization. Please note that the On Demand filter can be used to quickly identify our trainings that have been pre-recorded and are available to watch. Most other trainings are available for organizations to book on a fee-for-service basis.

Through our Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project, we are able to offer a select menu of trainings for Prosecutors and other MDT members at no cost. Please select the Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project filter to view these trainings.

If you are an individual seeking training, please visit our Events & Training Calendar to view and register for upcoming trainings hosted by Zero Abuse Project. Unfortunately, Zero Abuse Project cannot book an individual’s request for training.


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Prosecuting Domestic Violence Cases with Absent and Recanting Victims

The very nature of domestic violence – crimes that are often committed in private and involve victims who have love for, loyalty to, and fear of their abusers – makes these cases difficult to successfully prosecute. This is particularly true when the victim has recanted allegations or will not appear in Court to provide truthful testimony. This presentation looks at

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It’s Always the Right Time: Ethical Issues in Child Victim Cases

Attorneys and multi-disciplinary teams working cases with child victims face a myriad of issues, including those which raise ethical questions. This presentation will involve a review of rules governing the various professions involved in an MDT. We will talk through some factual scenarios to give participants a chance to think through these issues before they arise in the field.

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Advanced Child Exploitation Search Warrants

This course addresses child exploitation investigations from initial discovery of exploitative material to the search warrant service. Participants will discuss sources of ICAC investigations; identify elements of probable cause development; practice search warrant service preparation and execution; learn about scene management, interviews, evidence collection; and identify key components of post-search warrant debriefing.

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Digital Forensics Series: Vehicle Forensics

This webinar addresses the unique forensic evidence from vehicles that can be used in the investigation of technology-facilitated crimes against children. It includes practical methods for recovering the forensic artifacts found in a typical vehicle’s 75 computer systems.

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Live Stream Platforms/Server Search Warrants

This webinar examines best practices in search warrant drafting, including common pitfalls and exigency considerations. It also addresses selection of appropriate legal process, reviewing search warrants for potential defects, and working with service providers to obtain data.

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The Importance of the Forensic Interview in Technology-Facilitated Crimes

This experiential 2.5 day course teaches ICAC investigators about technology-facilitated crimes and the importance of the forensic interviewer gathering information about a child’s involvement in virtual contexts while ensuring admissibility. Participants will develop case strategies, conduct mock interviews, and present case plans to faculty, exploring the use of digital and other evidence in forensic interviews.

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Utilizing Physical and Digital Evidence to Corroborate Difficult Cases

Corroborative evidence can often be the deciding factor on whether or not a case moves forward for charging.  Many cases of abuse and assault often appear to only have the victim and suspect as the “witnesses”.  This presentation will explore ways that police and prosecutors can look beyond those two witnesses and identify ways to present compelling, corroborating evidence.  Using traditional

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Where the Boys Are: Investigating and Prosecuting Cases of CSA When the Victim is Male

Most sexually abused boys will never make an outcry during childhood and, even if abuse is discovered, investigators and prosecutors will face barriers that impede their ability to protect these children. This workshop explores the research on the sexual abuse of boys and offers concrete suggestions for conducting forensic interviews with these children, investigating crimes against boys, and presenting these

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Preparing Children for our Process: Finding the Balance Between Saying Too Much, but Not Saying Enough

Effectively preparing children and families for our forensic interview process can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the forensic interview, but teams often worry about how and when to engage families and non-offending caregivers prior to the interview and in what way. This training provides guidance on how to prepare children and families for our process including the difference between minimal

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Child Death Investigations: An Overview for the MDT

Child Death Investigations can be complex and emotionally taxing cases for a multidisciplinary team. This presentation will focus on the benefits of an MDT-based approach to address common issues and challenges that arise in the investigation of deaths of the most vulnerable victims. Factual data will be referenced regarding the reduction in undetermined manner of death (or SIDS) findings with the

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First on Scene: Evidence Collection, Witness Statements, and Crime Scene Documentation

First responding officers have the difficult task of not only ensuring the scene is safe, but also preserving and protecting its integrity fromcontamination. This workshop, presented by a former supervisor of an Internet Crimes Against Children Division, provides an in-depth look at crime scene investigations and best practices when on-scene. Topics include protecting the public while preserving the crime scene,

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The Dynamics of Child Abuse

Each child who has experienced maltreatment goes through their own process of disclosure, and experiences intersecting dynamics and barriers to making a disclosure. There are many misconceptions about how and when children disclose based on adult norms and realities; it’s important that child maltreatment professionals understand the dynamics of child abuse so they can take a holistic approach in educating teams, juries, and

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Darkest Before Dawn: Action Steps in the Twilight of Child Abuse

Those on the front lines of child abuse response know that the current reality is often bleak. Modern child protection professionals face resource limitations, an explosion of online child exploitation, field turnover, and more. All too often, even the systems and individuals entrusted with keeping children safe fail them, endangering others and inflicting further trauma on child victims. There is a better way. Leveraging promising approaches and practical action steps, Darkest Before Dawn casts

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Prosecuting Stalking Cases in the Age of Technology

The dynamics of stalking creates unique issues when it comes to prosecution. Stalking cases can result from previously existing relationships or involve a perpetrator who is a stranger to the victim. Understanding the psychology of offending for this particular type of crime is essential to a successful investigation and prosecution. The use of new and emerging methods in technology-facilitated sexual

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Peer Review with an Eye Toward Corroboration – For Prosecutors and MDTs

In conducting peer review of forensic interviewers, it is important not only to critique the question types and adherence to a protocol, but also to critique whether or not the interviewer asked questions that would elicit information that can be corroborated by the multi-disciplinary team. This workshop provides concrete information to expand the peer review process to include this critical

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Rural and Interfamilial Trafficking

There is an increased public awareness around the prevalence, impact and salience of sex trafficking, human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. When allegations of trafficking and exploitation are made known to law enforcement and social services, the forensic interview process can be an effective tool for gathering victim statements and assessing what has occurred. This training will discuss the specifics

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Rapport: It’s Not Just a Phase!

Although there are multiple nationally recognized forensic interviewing models in use, the importance of building and maintaining rapport is emphasized in each process. While these models all implement steps or phases labeled as “rapport,” what does it really mean to build rapport with each individual child? This session will discuss research-based and best-practice informed steps to establishing rapport. We will

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Understanding the Process: Supervising Forensic Interviewers

An understanding of the forensic interviewing process is essential for supervisors in order to assist in the growth of their interviewers and to gain familiarity with the required peer review and mentoring processes. This advanced workshop includes a history and overview of the ChildFirst® Forensic Interviewing Protocol and discusses best practices in the field, new research, and the process for

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Intent versus Impact: Examining and Improving Interactions with Child Victims and Their Non-Offending Caregivers

Using case studies, concrete examples and research, this presentation will provide strategies for engaging with these populations in an intentional way, with a focus on balancing investigative needs and the benefits of rapport-building and affirmative interactions. Other topics that will be covered include examining intent versus impact in interactions with children and families and suggestions for improving communication amongst MDT

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The Big Disconnect: Prosecutor and Forensic Interviewer Collaboration

Forensic Interviewers are often utilized as fact witnesses to testify in court when they have conducted an interview in the matter at hand. Forensic Interviewers across the country have also been retained as expert witness to discuss dynamics, behaviors, and traits that are common in cases of child maltreatment per their training and experience. This session will discuss the breadth

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Sexting Behavior: Coercion and Consent

This session will take a detailed look at the layered dynamics involved youth-produced sexual images and how professionals can respond. Special attention will be given to the systems response in these cases and questions that will often arise when forensic interviewers and other MDT professionals are faced with clients who have created their own sexual images.

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Preserving the Digital Crime Scene: A Practical Guide to Digital Evidence Collection for MDTs

Electronic evidence is information and data of investigatory value that is stored or transmitted by an electronic device. It is fragile and can easily be altered, damaged, or destroyed. The importance of proper digital evidence collection procedures is paramount in any crime, especially involving the investigation of child abuse or maltreatment. In order to ensure the integrity of the case against child abuse

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From Cabbage Patch to Crime Scene: Using Dolls in Death Investigations

This is a course designed for death investigators. and the death investigation multidisciplinary team (MDT). Learners will be educated on best practices for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations (SUIDIs). Topics covered will include conducting death scene interviews and collecting pertinent death-related information and data, anatomical SUIDI doll reenactment best practices and doll code of conduct, scene walkthrough fundamentals and photographic

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Protecting children from child abuse and maltreatment requires that everyone understand how to recognize, respond and report any form of maltreatment a child may experience. FIRST response is often the single most important step in effectively responding and reporting maltreatment.

FIRST will give you and your community the tools necessary to better protect kids. The training combines both lecture and practicum, giving participants the tools and practical skills to better communicate with a child during the initial outcry of maltreatment.

The FIRST process teaches three critical components:
1. How to recognize signs and symptoms of abuse and maltreatment
2. How to listen and respond to a child’s needs
3. How to effectively and accurately report any form of maltreatment to authorities

Your FIRST Response to Child Maltreatment training teaches participants how to listen to children who have experienced maltreatment and gather the correct information needed in a way that puts the child’s needs FIRST.

This training is also available as a Train-the-Trainer model with a licensing agreement to teach the material in your own community. Offerred as a 90 minute overview or a 3-hour comprehensive basic course.

You are remarkable, exceptional and amazing! You are a supporter, a believer, and a champion! Do you agree?
As advocates we spend our days, and sometimes evenings, caring for and empowering others. Sometimes we forget to do the same for ourselves. Advocacy work is chosen out of compassion, empathy, experience or a belief in a cause. This is not easy work. For every one cause for celebration, we may have five to ten struggles. If you feel as though you need a little encouragement, support, and ideas to keep you fabulous, please consider this training. This is especially important as we navigate daily changes and stresses induced by Covid-19 and the impact of isolation and grief.

This workshop provides prosecutors with a comprehensive overview of jury selection purposes and strategies – including pre-voir dire investigative tips, developing an authentic approach to juries, addressing juror myths, building case themes in child abuse cases, gathering sample questions, and closing considerations.

In the United States, hundreds of children have died and thousands more have endured pain or illness that could have been prevented with basic medical care. This workshop addresses instances in which medical care is withheld on the basis of religious belief. The workshop explores the basis for these beliefs and the possibility of working within myriad cultures to nonetheless treat the child. The workshop also explores when, over the objection of a parent, the government can intervene to provide necessary medical care to a child.

Although there is a large body of research finding medical and mental health risks associated with corporal punishment, most parents continue to hit their children as a means of discipline. In many instances, the practice is justified based on religious teachings. Using a case history, this presentation discusses the basis for these teaching and offers concrete, culturally sensitive approaches for moving parents away from corporal punishment and toward more effective means of discipline.

What every parent fears: an alert from their children’s school, notifying them of some event like an active shooter. Schools train, drill, and have alerts for active shooters, fires, and other disasters; however, when it comes to addressing in-school sexual assaults – particularly those committed by students – most schools find themselves with no plan. This leads to problems for investigators, prosecutors and school officials as they try to achieve justice for survivors and keep the school environment safe. This presentation will focus on building strong cases when a sexual assault occurs in a school environment, with a focus on evidence collection, obtaining digital evidence and navigating school policies. Attendees will be encouraged to think about specialized legal proceedings like waiver hearings (trying juveniles as adults). Finally, we will discuss unique trial issues, including witness intimidation, working with reluctant witnesses, and overcoming juror biases.

Most sexually abused boys will never make an outcry during childhood and, even if abuse is discovered, investigators and prosecutors will face barriers that impede their ability to protect these children. This workshop explores the research on the sexual abuse of boys and offers concrete suggestions for conducting forensic interviews with these children, investigating crimes against boys, and presenting these cases to a jury.

Students will receive an overview of the literature concerning the emotional abuse of a child and will receive concrete suggestions for investigating these cases and for proving an allegation of emotional abuse in either a civil child protection or a criminal case.

When most people hear the word “rape”, they still think of the stranger rapist with the gun, despite the progress of the “Me Too” Movement and some highly publicized non-stranger sexual abuse cases.  Prosecutors, police, and advocates are far more likely to encounter cases in which the survivor and the offender have some pre-existing relationship. This presentation will focus attendees on how to build strong non-stranger sexual assault cases that have jury appeal, that offer victim protections and support, and that counter defenses commonly raised in non-stranger cases.

The tragedy of youth sexually abusing other children is frequently encountered by prosecutors and forensic interviewers, yet it poses significant and persistent challenges. This workshop provides pertinent strategies and research for the effective, appropriate intervention and prosecution of juvenile offenders.

Many defense attorneys attempt to deflect juror attention away from a child’s allegations of abuse by attacking the manner in which the child was interviewed. The implicit or explicit claim is that the interviewer purposefully or unwittingly planted the allegation of abuse in the child’s mind. Fearful of the anticipated attack on the investigative interview, some prosecutors decline to file charges in cases involving only eyewitness testimony of a young child. In this workshop students will learn how to successfully defend the investigative interview.

How do you investigate child abuse cases when the suspect is a law enforcement officer? This workshop analyzes a series of case studies in which perpetrators sought to exploit the authority of the badge by abusing vulnerable youth and avoiding the consequences. Team-taught by a forensic interviewer and former prosecutor, the presentation will highlight practical investigative, prosecutorial, and forensic interview considerations for these complex cases.

It is a powerful responsibility to ensure that children, youth, and vulnerable adults are able to thrive within a faith community. The importance of creating and maintaining safe places for ALL members, especially those unable to protect themselves, must be considered with great care. This session provides specific policies and practices to address while detailing why faith communities must be prepared to handle the problem of child sexual abuse.

A significant body of research finds that many abused children are impacted spiritually or have religious questions pertaining to the maltreatment. Failing to address these questions may impact a child physically and emotionally.

Many maltreated children are spiritually impacted by abuse and require a coordination of medical, mental health, and spiritual care. This slightly shortened presentation suitable as a keynote examines this research and explores creative reforms for bringing faith and child protection communities together to protect children and address their needs. The workshop also explores how MDTs can recognize and respond to spiritual injuries before, during and after the forensic interview.

There is corroborating evidence in every case of child abuse, including cases of sexual abuse. Using actual vignettes, the presenter helps attendees see corroborating evidence that is almost always present but often missed. Working as team, students will learn to tear apart a child’s statement and find the corroborating physical evidence in cases of child sexual abuse.

In this workshop, students will learn the importance of effective strategies and themes for opening statements and closing arguments in child abuse cases. Students will learn a theme for presenting their case. They will learn specific arguments to persuade a jury that a child is telling the truth. They will learn to debunk common defenses in child abuse cases.

This training will give youth workers, faith leaders, teachers, and caregivers tools to support them in having conversations with young people about pornography.

The work we do matters. The way we treat our colleagues and clients matter. Using humor, story-telling, and anecdotes from the field, this session will remind listeners why self care is crucial and how we can learn and be inspired by others.

As the world becomes more digitally connected, offenders can now commit multiple, virtual sexual assaults without ever leaving their homes.  Sextortion – the use of coercion to compel a victim to engage in some form of sexual conduct – has been steadily increasing over the years, and now may involve international actors and financial components. This presentation will focus attendees on factors to consider when working with the victims traumatized by these offenses, including victim interviewing and evidence gathering, protecting victims during the court process, and addressing victim needs for physical safety and their mental health.

Self-care should be an individual priority, but it cannot be achieved without support from your professional and personal communities. True self-care requires support and resources from leadership. This workshop provides an overview of the research on the vicarious trauma of working with families impacted by trauma. There will be opportunities to self-assess how your professional community is helping in prevention of burnout and concrete opportunities for growth.

Corroborative evidence can often be the deciding factor on whether or not a case moves forward for charging.  Many cases of abuse and assault often appear to only have the victim and suspect as the “witnesses”.  This presentation will explore ways that police and prosecutors can look beyond those two witnesses and identify ways to present compelling, corroborating evidence.  Using traditional methods of physical evidence and advancing ideas in technology, attendees will be encouraged to think outside the box.

Domestic violence and stalking investigations can become a tedious task for any investigator. To conduct a successful investigation, digital evidence recovery is essential to aid in the corroboration of the victim’s statement. The offender may impose physical injury, but they will also routinely harass, threaten, and inflict psychological trauma upon their victims while committing crimes in person or during online interactions. Investigators must equip themselves with the latest tools and techniques available to obtain solid evidence for the prosecution’s case against these offenders. This course will provide examples of how to locate digital evidence through using search warrants to establish a pattern of behavior, which can corroborate the victim’s statement. An emphasis will also be placed on the best legal practices for digital evidence recovery, storage, and presentation for prosecution.

In this moving and hopeful address, students will learn the five obstacles that prevent us from ending child abuse and will learn about sweeping changes now taking place in our child protection system that will enable us to significantly reduce and perhaps eliminate child abuse over the course of the next three generations. The keynote is based on a scholarly work that was published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, and in the Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, Fall 2006.

An understanding of the forensic interviewing process is essential for supervisors in order to assist in the growth of their interviewers and to gain familiarity with the required peer review and mentoring processes. This advanced workshop includes a history and overview of the ChildFirst® Forensic Interviewing Protocol and discusses best practices in the field, new research, and the process for annual updates.  Concrete suggestions regarding strengths and challenges in the field will be provided, as well as an opportunity for questions in group forum format. (Available as a full day or a half day to include only the Supervising Forensic Interviewers content)

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Before requesting a training, please view our training catalog to see all available training topics.

Unfortunately, Zero Abuse Project cannot book individual requests for training. Please see our Events Calendar to view and register for upcoming trainings that will be hosted by Zero Abuse Project.