The MDAA's Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program provides training and resources for prosecutors, victim-witness advocates and law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth who are responsible for domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
Some of the services that MDAA provides through this program are:
- Domestic Violence 101 - This training is designed for newer prosecutors who have just started handling, or soon will be handling, domestic violence cases in the district courts. It equips ADAs with the knowledge and tools necessary to handle challenging domestic violence cases successfully and confidently.
- Sexual Assault 201 – In 2013, this day-long training covered everything from grand jury investigation to preparing DNA evidence and motions in limine. Other training segments included working with challenging victims and prosecuting sexual assaults that occur within a relationship.
- Domestic Violence Trial Advocacy - This day-long training provides prosecutors with on-their feet trial advocacy through use of a domestic violence fact pattern. Prosecutors participate in various exercises designed to build skill and confidence in the courtroom starting with opening statements and proceeding through closing arguments. Experienced faculty provide constructive critiques and insight into best practices in preparing for domestic violence trials with or without a victim.
- Sexual Assault Trial Advocacy - This training is for prosecutors handling sexual assault cases in the district courts, or for any newer superior court sexual assault prosecutor who wants to improve their trial advocacy skills. This training integrates group discussions, lectures and on-your-feet drills aimed at improving the advocacy of sexual assault cases in court.
- Webinars – MDAA develops and delivers webinars every month on discreet topics related to violence against women. All of the previously recorded webinars are available on this website for prosecutors, law enforcement and advocates to watch at any time and from anywhere.
- Sum & Substance Series. These are focused, topic-specific trainings delivered on-site in the DAs’ offices. Sum & Substance trainings are generally offered in the Fall.
- MDAA provides resources for prosecutors; including, summarizing and distributing decisions issued from Supreme Court, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the Supreme Judicial Court that effect the prosecution of violence against women. Further, MDAA authored and now updates its Domestic Violence Trial Notebook annually. This publication is available electronically upon request.
- Through this program, MDAA develops and tracks legislation on sexual assault and domestic violence, electronically disseminates summaries of relevant cases to prosecutors and police across the state, provides extensive training materials to prosecutors and advocates, and acts as the District Attorneys’ liaison to MOVA, Jane Doe Inc., the SANE Program, and other entities who service victims of domestic and sexual violence.
This program is funded through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security by a Violence Against Women Act S.T.O.P. grant awarded by the Violence Against Women Grant Office, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.