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If passed, 'Abby Honold Act' could help Olmsted County Sheriff's Office expand trauma-informed sexual assault response training

The Abby Honald Act is inspired by Abby Honald, former University of Minnesota student and rape survivor, who helped create the piece of legislation four years ago.

Posted: Feb 2, 2021 6:19 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tom Emmer are reintroducing a bipartisan bill that would promote trauma-informed response to sexual assault crimes.

The Abby Honald Act is inspired by Abby Honald, former University of Minnesota student and rape survivor, who helped create the piece of legislation four years ago.

It would require the Department of Justice to to award grants over the next two years to law enforcement agencies to implement trauma-informed training for responding to sexual assault cases.

Sgt. James Schueller of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office says patrol staff are usually the first to respond to sexual assault calls. They gather basic facts, but are specifically directed to not interview the victim. That's left to a core group of detectives and investigators who have special training. If the Abby Honold Act passes, that could change.

"When you talk about these types of crimes, everything should be centered around the needs of the victim. They're the ones who should control the pace and the speed of the investigation and they get a lot of say and they should have a lot of say in how it progresses through the system," says Sgt. Schueller.

The bill could possibly allow OCSO to expand its training to more people on staff. "I could see where it would even benefit having patrol staff get trained as some level to this, because even that initital response kind of sets the stage for when an investigator or detective comes out there. So I think at all levels of law enforcement it could help... You never stop learning," he says. "This type of legislation that's getting put out there again is fantastic... our job is to help, and any training that can get out there, any legislation is phenomenal."

Abby Honold tweeted Monday saying she has "a good feeling it's going to pass this time," adding that "trauma informed questioning is a basic thing every victim of a violent crime should have access to."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 779749

Reported Deaths: 8705
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1551991932
Ramsey63983985
Dakota57663527
Anoka54651523
Washington34014332
Stearns28901255
St. Louis24156362
Scott21836160
Wright21662171
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Crow Wing9658109
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Beltrami670380
Mower656341
Douglas642091
Goodhue631285
Itasca630887
Winona618454
McLeod604471
Steele592525
Isanti581174
Morrison571569
Becker543464
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Pine433233
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Brown416347
Todd409736
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Meeker364354
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Faribault223430
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Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
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Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
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Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
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Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
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Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
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Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
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Emmet167146
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Union162637
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Ida118641
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Monona108738
Worth10818
Adair105335
Osceola94017
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Decatur82612
Taylor79713
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Adams5095
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