Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Police, Sexual Assault, Victim, Organizational Change, Leadership


Police services across North America have been criticized for their lack of support for victims throughout the investigative process, especially when investigating crimes involving sexual violence. The Problem of Practice addressed in this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) focuses on the lack of victim support throughout sexual assault investigations in a large police service in Canada. Taking a victim-centered approach to sexual assault investigations pushes the police organization to consider victims’ needs and rights ahead of strictly gathering information throughout a sexual assault investigation.

A gap analysis identified two main areas of focus for this (OIP): the need for enhanced training and resources for police officers and the need for increased oversight and accountability mechanisms of those investigating sexual assaults. A plan for implementing a tiered training approach along with easily accessible online materials and resources for police officers aims to increase their knowledge surrounding victim-centered, trauma-informed approaches to supporting victims of sexual assault. A reinvestment of several officers throughout the organization provides a cost-effective approach to ensuring the oversight and accountability measures are in place to conduct appropriate, victim-centered, sexual assault investigations.