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Identifying & Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response

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In December 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a new guidance document, "Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence," aimed at assisting law enforcement agencies in identifying and preventing gender bias in their response to domestic violence and sexual assault. The document was developed with input from a variety of stakeholders, including police leaders, victims' advocates, and civil rights advocates, and was produced by the DOJ's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), the Civil Rights Division, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

The guidance document outlines eight basic principles that "will help reduce the potential for discrimination." Though the DOJ concedes that this list is not exhaustive, implementation and adherence "to these basic principles in developing policies, practices and trainings related to sexual assault and domestic violence cases will help law enforcement agencies provide police services free from discrimination on the basis of gender and handle these cases more effectively."

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