SPECIAL VICTIMS BUREAU

The Special Victims Bureau investigates and prosecutes 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 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.

The Bureau’s work is survivor-centered, with Victim Services Unit counselors focused on providing survivors with what they need to recover and feel safe. Accordingly, prosecution decisions are informed by what survivors want. When a survivor wants to go forward with prosecution, the bureau uses a range of enhanced investigative techniques. These techniques are particularly important in cases of acquaintance rape because they allow the Bureau to successfully prosecute even when—as is often the case—there are no other witnesses.

In collaboration 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), the Bureau investigates more than 5,000 reports of child abuse and neglect annually.

CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE INITIATIVE

Created in March 2017, the Brooklyn DA’s 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 works 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 DA’s Office, in partnership with community organizations, speak directly to new students arriving on campus during orientation and back-to-school activities. The Office also offers training programs for campus staff.

The initiative’s task force works 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 enhances 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.

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 Human Trafficking Unit also serves as co-chair of the Brooklyn Human Trafficking Task Force—a collaboration of more than 35 federal and local law enforcement agencies and social services providers that enable’s the Unit to more effectively prosecute traffickers and assist survivors of trafficking.

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 identify 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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