Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review
The Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review (first operationalized in Philadelphia in 2001 and colloquially known as the “Philly Model”) was developed by the Improving Institutional Accountability Project (IIAP) and seeks to increase equitable access to the justice system for survivors of sexual violence through objectively measurable improvement in policing violence against women.
VACR is an external file review process which seeks to address case attrition and provide oversight in sexual assault cases through the knowledge of subject matter experts sourced directly from the community. VACR adds a best practice link to the policing investigative chain:
Report → Investigation → Clearance → REVIEW
VACR promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, learning and systemic change through the added link in the investigative chain which provides an ongoing a safeguard process to catch police reported sexual assault cases before they slip through the cracks instead of analyzing what went wrong: after a complaint is filed; after survivors go to the media; after a scandal; or after a perpetrator or serial offender assaults again.
Saskatchewan’s first VACR implementation in Regina has successfully completed four review cycles (October 2019, February 2020, June 2020, October 2020), and the pilot project ended December 31, 2020, with all reporting delivered January 31, 2021. External third-party evaluation has reported the Regina Pilot to be successful.
VACR has been endorsed by the Canadian Association Chiefs of Police in 2020, and has been included as a best practice in their Canadian Framework for Collaborative Police Response on Sexual Violence for all municipal police services to adopt and implement. The Saskatchewan Association Chiefs of Police (in 2020), as well as Regina Police Service (in 2021) have endorsed VACR and the Canadian Framework for Collaborative Police Response on Sexual Violence in light of this review process.