According to police personnel, victim advocates, prosecutors, judges, and service providers interviewed during site visits and surveyed by telephone, the advice in this Training Guide has increased rapport and collaboration among agencies, has increased reporting of statutory rape cases, and has improved prosecution of these cases. Equally important, we uncovered suggestions on ways to improve the treatment of these especially vulnerable victims, to obtain needed services to improve their self-esteem and life skills, and to break the cycle of violence. Early, continual, and thoughtful intervention by trained victim advocates is critical to the process.
The activities suggested in this Training Guide require a commitment of time, effort, and resources. More significantly, they require the willingness to sometimes undertake more work than is described in ones job description. To lessen the burden on any one individual or agency, use a multiagency task force to identify and assemble the names of persons and resources in all agencies responsible for and concerned with the welfare of young adolescents, including police, prosecutors, victim advocates, media representatives, school officials, welfare agencies, medical and mental health providers, service providers, and others. Working collaboratively and using the ideas in this Training Guide, this pool of talented, interested, and dedicated persons can do a great deal toward solving the problems and helping victims of statutory rape.