BISMARCK, N.D (KXNET) — Sexual assault and domestic violence have become one of the most reported crimes in the United States — a fact which is even true here in North Dakota. The state reports more than 2000 victims in 2021, and that’s only according to what’s on record. This is exactly why the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department has held a conference on thoroughly investigating those crimes.
According to rainn.org, there are approximately more than 400,000 reported victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. It is stated that an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds, and every nine minutes, and the victim of this assault is a child. However, only 25 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. As part of the seminar, instructors from all over the country teamed up with North Dakota investigators to teach officials about taking proper action, and ensuring they are fully prepared to help prosecute these perpetrators.
“A lot of times,” explains the conference’s instructor Aaron Harnish, “people who commit sexual offenses abuse the more vulnerable segments of society — and oftentimes, these victims are children. It is important to not only hold the perpetrators accountable but also to study the way they respond to certain questions when they’re asked throughout the investigation process. Other investigation techniques are held confidential, but, in its entirety, locking the perpetrator up behind bars is the goal.”
Throughout the training, investigators were given resources, methods, suspect interview techniques, and advice on how to examine types and sources of evidence — all of which can assist in the goal of stopping sexual assault in the Peace Garden State.
“It’s important to protect the most vulnerable members of our society,” says Harnish. “So we are gonna give the investigator resources to better serve victims and their families, and tools to better interview suspects as well.”