Training Catalog

Welcome to the Zero Abuse Project Training Catalog!

You can use the filters on the to browse the full scope of training Zero Abuse Project is able to offer for your organization. Please note that the On Demand filter can be used to quickly identify our trainings that have been pre-recorded and are available to watch. Most other trainings are available for organizations to book on a fee-for-service basis.

Through our Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project, we are able to offer a select menu of trainings for Prosecutors and other MDT members at no cost. Please select the Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project filter to view these trainings.

If you are an individual seeking training, please visit our Events & Training Calendar to view and register for upcoming trainings hosted by Zero Abuse Project. Unfortunately, Zero Abuse Project cannot book an individual’s request for training.


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Investigating and Prosecuting Cases of Child Torture

In this workshop, students will learn of common dynamics involved in cases of torture. Using several case examples, students will examine potential defenses and receive concrete trial strategies for overcoming these defenses. When religion is incorporated into these cases, several possible approaches at trial will be discussed.

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Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse and Neglect

In this workshop, students will learn to develop a coordinated, multi-disciplinary response to an allegation of child abuse. Employ creative methods for finding corroborating evidence cases of physical and sexual abuse. Investigate cases of failure to thrive and other forms of neglect. Assess sexual abuse allegations involving children with special needs. Methods for preparing children for court and tchniques for

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Peer Review with an Eye Toward Corroboration – For Forensic Interviewers

In conducting peer review of forensic interviewers, it is important not only to critique the question types and adherence to a protocol, but also to critique whether, or not, the interviewer asked questions that would elicit information that can be corroborated by the multi-disciplinary team. This workshop provides concrete information to expand the peer review process to include this critical

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Corroborating Evidence: For Prosecutors, Law Enforcement, Forensic Interviewers, and other MDT members

Initial child abuse disclosures and children’s statements ascertained through the forensic interview are only one part of an entire investigation. Increasing the corroboratively relevant details in the interview will assist in other parts of the child abuse investigation. This training stresses the importance of corroboration and offers forensic interview techniques to increase forensically relevant corroborative details in the interview through

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Crime Scene To Trial

This one-of-a-kind training provides detailed instruction in the investigation of a crime scene and how seemingly unimportant details can become critical at trial. While participants conduct a crime scene investigation in a “mock house,” they will interrogate child abuse suspects, photograph the crime scene and interview witnesses. Intended for multidisciplinary teams, including: prosecutor, social worker, case manager, forensic interviewer, law

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Conducting and Defending a Pandemic-Era Forensic Interview in Court

This workshop provides concrete guidance in conducting pandemic-era forensic interviews in a manner that will help the prosecutor to defend the practice should the interview be challenged in court. Prosecutors are also provided a number of strategies in responding to potential defense attacks on a tele-forensic interview or an interview conducted with modifications resulting from the pandemic.

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Interviewing Adolescents

This workshop discusses the unique challenges facing forensic interviewers and investigators when working with adolescent or teenage victims of child maltreatment and offers concrete suggestions for working with this population including a primer on understanding the world of today’s teens.

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A Very Particular Set of Skills: Investigating Human Trafficking

Moving cases from the investigation stage to prosecution is particularly difficult in the context of human trafficking, and successful human trafficking investigations require a unique approach. This workshop addresses potential avenues of corroboration, technology-facilitated human trafficking, proactive strategies, and investigative resources.

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Brick by Brick: How to Build a Cyberstalking Case

This workshop reviews a checklist of evidence and strategies for investigating cyberstalking cases. Presented by a former prosecutor, it also addresses relevant legal considerations, maximizing victim safety, best practices for handling cyberstalking complaints, and tactics utilized by cyberstalking perpetrators.

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Best Practices for Child Sexual Abuse Prosecution

This workshop addresses the specialized nature of the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases through the cooperation of the MDT.  Topics include the importance of hearsay and other crimes evidence and guidelines for their application, use of pretrial motions, preparing a child for courtroom testimony, voir dire, direct and cross-examinations, and sentencing considerations.

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He Said, She Said, We Looked: Corroboration and Technology-Facilitated Crimes Against Children

Every child sexual abuse case has corroborating evidence, but often child protection professionals do not fully develop this critical piece. Further, diverse online platforms are now utilized for exploitive purposes, the quantity of child sexual abuse material in existence has skyrocketed, and offender strategies continue to increase in sophistication. This workshop will focus on several underutilized avenues of corroboration, with

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I Will Find You: Search Warrants in a Digital Age

This workshop examines best practices in search warrant drafting, including common pitfalls and exigency considerations. Presented by prosecutors and cybercrime attorneys, this workshop also addresses selection of appropriate legal process, reviewing search warrants for potential defects, and working with service providers to obtain data.

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Assemble: Building Effective Multidisciplinary Teams

Multidisciplinary approaches are critical to investigating and prosecuting child abuse, and empirically proven to maximize both case outcomes and child wellbeing. This workshop will discuss team models and concrete ideas for building and maintaining high-performance multidisciplinary teams.

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How Children Experience Sexual Abuse: Dynamics, Barriers, and Disclosure

While delayed disclosure is a relatively common dynamic in the experience of sexual abuse and child maltreatment, it is a phenomenon that teams find difficult to overcome and is often hard for juries to understand during the court process. This training will provide an overview of the process of disclosure, why children delay disclosure, what facilitates a child’s disclosure and

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ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol Training

ChildFirst® is the forensic interview training program of Zero Abuse Project. Students receive training on the ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol, child development, memory and suggestibility, testifying in court, legal issues and preparing children for court. This training incorporates lecture and discussion, review of electronically recorded interviews, skill-building exercises and an interview practicum. ChildFirst® is an intensive five-day course in which

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Emerging Issues in the Field of Forensic Interviewing

This presentation will discuss the emerging issues in the field of forensic interviewing including, follow-up interviews, child abuse and the pandemic, professional development, manipulation and grooming, diagrams, discuss new research, best practice and provide opportunity for open forum of questions from forensic interviewers and investigators.

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Introducing Evidence in Forensic Interviews

This day-long training contains considerations for how multidisciplinary teams can evaluate when and how evidentiary material could or should be introduced into a forensic interview. Topics covered include historical perspectives, types of evidence, a framework for team discussion and practical guidance on the use of external evidence in the forensic interview.

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Overcoming Difficult Situations in Forensic Interviews

The training provides both lecture and group discussion. Participants will learn how to overcome difficult situations during forensic interviews and handle those tough questions. Upon entering the workshop, participants will have a chance to write down difficult situations they have encountered, and the presenter and participants will work to find solutions and practical tools that can be used in the

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Protecting children from child abuse and maltreatment requires that everyone understand how to recognize, respond and report any form of maltreatment a child may experience. FIRST response is often the single most important step in effectively responding and reporting maltreatment.

FIRST will give you and your community the tools necessary to better protect kids. The training combines both lecture and practicum, giving participants the tools and practical skills to better communicate with a child during the initial outcry of maltreatment.

The FIRST process teaches three critical components:
1. How to recognize signs and symptoms of abuse and maltreatment
2. How to listen and respond to a child’s needs
3. How to effectively and accurately report any form of maltreatment to authorities

Your FIRST Response to Child Maltreatment training teaches participants how to listen to children who have experienced maltreatment and gather the correct information needed in a way that puts the child’s needs FIRST.

This training is also available as a Train-the-Trainer model with a licensing agreement to teach the material in your own community. Offerred as a 90 minute overview or a 3-hour comprehensive basic course.

You are remarkable, exceptional and amazing! You are a supporter, a believer, and a champion! Do you agree?
As advocates we spend our days, and sometimes evenings, caring for and empowering others. Sometimes we forget to do the same for ourselves. Advocacy work is chosen out of compassion, empathy, experience or a belief in a cause. This is not easy work. For every one cause for celebration, we may have five to ten struggles. If you feel as though you need a little encouragement, support, and ideas to keep you fabulous, please consider this training. This is especially important as we navigate daily changes and stresses induced by Covid-19 and the impact of isolation and grief.

This workshop provides prosecutors with a comprehensive overview of jury selection purposes and strategies – including pre-voir dire investigative tips, developing an authentic approach to juries, addressing juror myths, building case themes in child abuse cases, gathering sample questions, and closing considerations.

In the United States, hundreds of children have died and thousands more have endured pain or illness that could have been prevented with basic medical care. This workshop addresses instances in which medical care is withheld on the basis of religious belief. The workshop explores the basis for these beliefs and the possibility of working within myriad cultures to nonetheless treat the child. The workshop also explores when, over the objection of a parent, the government can intervene to provide necessary medical care to a child.

Although there is a large body of research finding medical and mental health risks associated with corporal punishment, most parents continue to hit their children as a means of discipline. In many instances, the practice is justified based on religious teachings. Using a case history, this presentation discusses the basis for these teaching and offers concrete, culturally sensitive approaches for moving parents away from corporal punishment and toward more effective means of discipline.

What every parent fears: an alert from their children’s school, notifying them of some event like an active shooter. Schools train, drill, and have alerts for active shooters, fires, and other disasters; however, when it comes to addressing in-school sexual assaults – particularly those committed by students – most schools find themselves with no plan. This leads to problems for investigators, prosecutors and school officials as they try to achieve justice for survivors and keep the school environment safe. This presentation will focus on building strong cases when a sexual assault occurs in a school environment, with a focus on evidence collection, obtaining digital evidence and navigating school policies. Attendees will be encouraged to think about specialized legal proceedings like waiver hearings (trying juveniles as adults). Finally, we will discuss unique trial issues, including witness intimidation, working with reluctant witnesses, and overcoming juror biases.

Most sexually abused boys will never make an outcry during childhood and, even if abuse is discovered, investigators and prosecutors will face barriers that impede their ability to protect these children. This workshop explores the research on the sexual abuse of boys and offers concrete suggestions for conducting forensic interviews with these children, investigating crimes against boys, and presenting these cases to a jury.

Students will receive an overview of the literature concerning the emotional abuse of a child and will receive concrete suggestions for investigating these cases and for proving an allegation of emotional abuse in either a civil child protection or a criminal case.

When most people hear the word “rape”, they still think of the stranger rapist with the gun, despite the progress of the “Me Too” Movement and some highly publicized non-stranger sexual abuse cases.  Prosecutors, police, and advocates are far more likely to encounter cases in which the survivor and the offender have some pre-existing relationship. This presentation will focus attendees on how to build strong non-stranger sexual assault cases that have jury appeal, that offer victim protections and support, and that counter defenses commonly raised in non-stranger cases.

The tragedy of youth sexually abusing other children is frequently encountered by prosecutors and forensic interviewers, yet it poses significant and persistent challenges. This workshop provides pertinent strategies and research for the effective, appropriate intervention and prosecution of juvenile offenders.

Many defense attorneys attempt to deflect juror attention away from a child’s allegations of abuse by attacking the manner in which the child was interviewed. The implicit or explicit claim is that the interviewer purposefully or unwittingly planted the allegation of abuse in the child’s mind. Fearful of the anticipated attack on the investigative interview, some prosecutors decline to file charges in cases involving only eyewitness testimony of a young child. In this workshop students will learn how to successfully defend the investigative interview.

How do you investigate child abuse cases when the suspect is a law enforcement officer? This workshop analyzes a series of case studies in which perpetrators sought to exploit the authority of the badge by abusing vulnerable youth and avoiding the consequences. Team-taught by a forensic interviewer and former prosecutor, the presentation will highlight practical investigative, prosecutorial, and forensic interview considerations for these complex cases.

It is a powerful responsibility to ensure that children, youth, and vulnerable adults are able to thrive within a faith community. The importance of creating and maintaining safe places for ALL members, especially those unable to protect themselves, must be considered with great care. This session provides specific policies and practices to address while detailing why faith communities must be prepared to handle the problem of child sexual abuse.

A significant body of research finds that many abused children are impacted spiritually or have religious questions pertaining to the maltreatment. Failing to address these questions may impact a child physically and emotionally.

Many maltreated children are spiritually impacted by abuse and require a coordination of medical, mental health, and spiritual care. This slightly shortened presentation suitable as a keynote examines this research and explores creative reforms for bringing faith and child protection communities together to protect children and address their needs. The workshop also explores how MDTs can recognize and respond to spiritual injuries before, during and after the forensic interview.

There is corroborating evidence in every case of child abuse, including cases of sexual abuse. Using actual vignettes, the presenter helps attendees see corroborating evidence that is almost always present but often missed. Working as team, students will learn to tear apart a child’s statement and find the corroborating physical evidence in cases of child sexual abuse.

In this workshop, students will learn the importance of effective strategies and themes for opening statements and closing arguments in child abuse cases. Students will learn a theme for presenting their case. They will learn specific arguments to persuade a jury that a child is telling the truth. They will learn to debunk common defenses in child abuse cases.

This training will give youth workers, faith leaders, teachers, and caregivers tools to support them in having conversations with young people about pornography.

The work we do matters. The way we treat our colleagues and clients matter. Using humor, story-telling, and anecdotes from the field, this session will remind listeners why self care is crucial and how we can learn and be inspired by others.

As the world becomes more digitally connected, offenders can now commit multiple, virtual sexual assaults without ever leaving their homes.  Sextortion – the use of coercion to compel a victim to engage in some form of sexual conduct – has been steadily increasing over the years, and now may involve international actors and financial components. This presentation will focus attendees on factors to consider when working with the victims traumatized by these offenses, including victim interviewing and evidence gathering, protecting victims during the court process, and addressing victim needs for physical safety and their mental health.

Self-care should be an individual priority, but it cannot be achieved without support from your professional and personal communities. True self-care requires support and resources from leadership. This workshop provides an overview of the research on the vicarious trauma of working with families impacted by trauma. There will be opportunities to self-assess how your professional community is helping in prevention of burnout and concrete opportunities for growth.

Corroborative evidence can often be the deciding factor on whether or not a case moves forward for charging.  Many cases of abuse and assault often appear to only have the victim and suspect as the “witnesses”.  This presentation will explore ways that police and prosecutors can look beyond those two witnesses and identify ways to present compelling, corroborating evidence.  Using traditional methods of physical evidence and advancing ideas in technology, attendees will be encouraged to think outside the box.

Domestic violence and stalking investigations can become a tedious task for any investigator. To conduct a successful investigation, digital evidence recovery is essential to aid in the corroboration of the victim’s statement. The offender may impose physical injury, but they will also routinely harass, threaten, and inflict psychological trauma upon their victims while committing crimes in person or during online interactions. Investigators must equip themselves with the latest tools and techniques available to obtain solid evidence for the prosecution’s case against these offenders. This course will provide examples of how to locate digital evidence through using search warrants to establish a pattern of behavior, which can corroborate the victim’s statement. An emphasis will also be placed on the best legal practices for digital evidence recovery, storage, and presentation for prosecution.

In this moving and hopeful address, students will learn the five obstacles that prevent us from ending child abuse and will learn about sweeping changes now taking place in our child protection system that will enable us to significantly reduce and perhaps eliminate child abuse over the course of the next three generations. The keynote is based on a scholarly work that was published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, and in the Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, Fall 2006.

An understanding of the forensic interviewing process is essential for supervisors in order to assist in the growth of their interviewers and to gain familiarity with the required peer review and mentoring processes. This advanced workshop includes a history and overview of the ChildFirst® Forensic Interviewing Protocol and discusses best practices in the field, new research, and the process for annual updates.  Concrete suggestions regarding strengths and challenges in the field will be provided, as well as an opportunity for questions in group forum format. (Available as a full day or a half day to include only the Supervising Forensic Interviewers content)

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Before requesting a training, please view our training catalog to see all available training topics.

Unfortunately, Zero Abuse Project cannot book individual requests for training. Please see our Events Calendar to view and register for upcoming trainings that will be hosted by Zero Abuse Project.