CFS Joins Forces with Maui Police Department

2015 Donor Newsletter V.2

Healing a person who has experienced trauma is the responsibility of the entire community.

That’s why CFS has partnered with the Maui County Deputy Prosecutor to bring a yearlong series of trainings to the Maui Police Department (MPD). Led by Dani Riggs, Clinical Director of CFS Maui, and Robert Rivera, Deputy Prosecutor of Maui County, these trainings educate officers in the dynamics of sexual assault so that when they are called upon to investigate these crimes, they can be a source of understanding and compassion for the victims they work with.

During each two-hour training session, 25–30 officers learn how trauma can affect an individual. Every person who experiences trauma deals with the event in a different way. While some may cope very well with the ordeal, others could experience post-traumatic stress that is triggered by specific sights, sounds, or feelings. By understanding the effects of trauma, officers can more effectively communicate with victims and work with them to bring assailants to justice.

CFS Director of Maui Programs, Nicole Hokoana, says that this program is a pilot project for the state and may be adopted on other islands. Of the MPD, Hokoana shared, “An important part of healing from trauma is justice for victims. As partners in helping victims through crisis and trauma, it is only fitting that we share our knowledge with the department and individual officers.”

A very special thanks to the Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault, whose collaboration and curriculum, Adult Sexual Assault Victims: Understanding Trauma, helped to make these trainings possible, and to the Maui Sexual Assault Response Team (MSART) who worked to develop and prepare this training. MSART includes CFS, MPD, the Maui County Prosecutors Office, Forensic Examiners, Children’s Justice Center, and Victim Witness program.


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