SPECIAL VICTIMS BUREAU

The Special Victims Bureau investigates and prosecutes all sexual assault cases, regardless of the age of the victim, and also investigates and prosecutes all incidents of harm to children who are under 13 years of age at the time that the perpetrator is apprehended, including cases of physical abuse and child fatalities and homicides. Assistant district attorneys in the bureau are trained in dealing with these especially vulnerable victims, and the bureau works closely with the office’s Victim Services Unit.

With regards to sexual assault cases, the bureau, in addition to investigating crimes reported directly to the police, also investigates reports that have been referred to the bureau by the State Central Registry and the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the NYC School District, as well as reports originating from many other sources.

With regards to cases involving child victims, the bureau investigates the thousands of abuse and neglect reports made through the New York State central child abuse registry and it works closely with the Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center (a multi-disciplinary partnership which includes representatives from the Administration for Children’s Services, the NYPD’s Brooklyn Child Abuse Squad, the not-for-profit service agency Safe Horizon, and medical professionals). Assistant district attorneys thoroughly investigate each case, which often includes observing and conducting forensic interviews with the child victims, and taking defendants’ statements. The bureau strives to provide a child-friendly atmosphere, so that it can vigorously prosecute these cases while also protecting young victims from further traumatization.

CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE INITIATIVE

Created by Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in March 2017, the Campus Sexual Assault Response Initiative works proactively with college students and administrators to raise awareness of sexual assaults on campus, protect and support student survivors and foster cooperation among schools and law enforcement.

As part of the initiative, the DA’s Office and the campuses will partner with campus officials to improve and institutionalize a coordinated response to campus sexual assaults, enhancing reporting and investigation while ensuring an appropriate, comprehensive response. Representatives of the Office, in partnership with community organizations, will speak directly to new students arriving on campus during orientation and back-to-school activities. The Office will also offer training programs for campus staff.

The initiative’s task force will work to connect every campus survivor to the comprehensive services of the Office’s Victim Services Unit, even in cases which do not result in criminal prosecution. Early access to complete services will enhance the investigative process while minimizing any additional trauma from involvement with the criminal justice system and ensuring that victims are fully and accurately informed as early as possible.

Finally, the Office will designate a staff member as a single point of contact for campus officials and law enforcement seeking guidance on issues related to campus sexual assault. Our community prosecution model has proved that dedicated contacts with law enforcement and community officials improve access and consistency while building lasting partnerships that improve case outcomes.

For more information on the Campus Sexual Assault Response Initiative, call 718-250-3342.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT

The Human Trafficking Unit vigorously investigates and prosecutes those who, through such means as psychological and physical coercion, beatings, extortion, starvation, confinement, and compelled drug use, have forced individuals (often young girls and women) into prostitution. The unit’s staff also engages in community outreach by conducting meetings at schools and community centers to educate Brooklyn residents on the dangers of sex trafficking and on how to look for warning signs that a person might be a trafficking victim.  The office’s 24-hour telephone hotline number to report incidents of human trafficking is (718) 250-2770.

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