Gov. Christie Signs Law Enforcement Training Bill, Ensuring Continuing Education on Sexual Violence
Trenton, N.J. – Today Governor Chris Christie (R – N.J.) signed a law expanding sexual violence education training for members of the law enforcement community.
The law increases the amount of education and training that law enforcement officers receive about responding to sexual violence to a triennial requirement, beginning in 2018. Previously, members of the law enforcement community receive training on topics related to sexual violence while attending the Police Academy, but were not required to receive additional training throughout their careers.
“The better we equip our state’s critical first responders, the better we serve survivors of sexual violence across New Jersey,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of NJCASA. “Survivors who choose to report their assault to law enforcement should feel comfortable and affirmed, and continuing education for the professionals with whom they first interact can help create better outcomes for survivors and increase perpetrator accountability. We thank the legislature for their continued leadership on this issue and appreciate Governor Christie adding this law into an expansive portfolio of policies New Jersey has enacted to better serve survivors across the state.”
NJCASA enjoyed working with the legislative sponsors (Sens. Turner and Diegnan, Asm. Johnson and Wimberly, and Asw. Vainieri Huttle), and other statewide stakeholders to craft and advance a bill that is smart, specific, and primed to create a positive impact in New Jersey.
The 2017 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that over 1M survivors of sexual violence live in New Jersey. The 2015 Uniform Crime Report noted a 40% increase in reported rapes in New Jersey.
ABOUT NJCASA: The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (www.njcasa.org) is the statewide technical assistance and capacity building organization that represents New Jersey’s 21 county-based rape crisis centers and the Rutgers University Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. NJCASA elevates the voice of sexual violence survivors and service providers by advocating for survivor-centered legislation, training-allied professionals, and supporting statewide prevention strategies that work to address and defy the socio-cultural norms that permit and promote rape culture.