Victim Rights: What Law Enforcement Officers Need to Know

December 3, 2020
1:00pm - 2:00pm

Victim rights are a powerful tool for victims—and for law enforcement. Victims who have received their rights are stronger witnesses, more likely to share information with agents, and better able to testify. Victim rights are also an important means to protect and empower victims throughout the case. Law enforcement agents who understand victim rights can help victims to receive the voice they are entitled to and avoid rights violations that can sidetrack an investigation or prosecution. This session, taught by the Justice Department’s former expert on victim rights law, covers the rights that law enforcement officers need to know and how to accord those rights in a way that leaves victims feeling supported, protected, and heard.


Katharine Manning is the President of Blackbird LLC, which provides training and consultation on issues of trauma and victimization. In her fifteen years with the Department of Justice, Ms. Manning served as a Senior Attorney Advisor at the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, advising the Department on its response to victims in cases involving terrorism, sexual assault, child exploitation, large-scale fraud, crimes in Indian Country, and more. Ms. Manning worked on implementation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) and the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA) within the Department of Justice and on drafting the 2005 and 2011 Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance (AG Guidelines). She has trained extensively on the CVRA, VRRA, and AG Guidelines, for federal law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim assistance personnel. Ms. Manning has also worked as a counselor and advocate for battered women, in the Family Violence and Sex Crimes Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop in San Francisco. Ms. Manning graduated from Smith College and the University of Virginia School of Law.