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A Handbook for Rape and Sexual Violence Cases: Best Practices of Community‐Based Paralegal Programs and Non‐Governmental Organizations

By: Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic, Fordham Law School

Best Practices of Community‐Based Paralegal Programs and Non‐Governmental Organizations

This manual is a product of the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic
(Leitner Clinic), which is part of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School in New York City. The manual aims to aid community-based paralegal programs working on sexual violence cases by providing them with a step-by-step guide on best practices for providing holistic services to survivors of sexual violence.The manual is based on comparative research and interviews the Leitner Clinic conducted with anti-sexual violence organizations and paralegal programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

The manual is divided into two sections. Part I contains recommendations on best
practices for paralegal organizations working on sexual violence cases, and focuses on the following areas: increasing identification of rape and sexual violence cases; developing formal guidelines, checklists and protocols; training paralegals in rape and sexual violence cases; medical referrals for treatment and forensic examination; psychological counseling services; interviews and gathering evidence; confidentiality; rejecting mediation as an option for sexual violence cases; navigating formal and traditional legal systems; providing information to clients about potential prosecution of sexual violence cases; working with lawyers; reporting sexual violence cases to police authorities; working with police authorities in the investigation and prosecution of cases; follow-up procedures with sexual violence survivors; educational workshops and programs; and gender demographics and client preference.

Part II provides essays of individual interviews conducted with twenty paralegal and anti-sexual violence organizations located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, India, Iran, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States.

Notable Replies

  1. This write up is very good material for paralegal, currently we are following a case of rape and sexual violence in Bauchi State, Nigeria between a school Teacher rape his student and got her pregnant a fourteen year old girl and denied it. he reported the girl to court for defamation of character. the victim is currently facing a criminal charge initiated by the said teacher through his lawyer, and she was sent to jail. Centre for African Human Rights Peace and Development got her on bail and referred the case to us Child protection Network which we are following it.

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Uploaded on: May 15, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2015
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