Science around trauma and memory shifting how police respond to victims

For decades, many law enforcement officers believed victims were supposed to be able to recall all the details of their assault. If they didn’t — or couldn’t — their allegations must not be credible, the thinking went.

There is now the growing realization among police officers and others who encountered victims of sexual assault that they have long misread and mishandled those cases. The process was so common that experts have given it a name — “secondary victimization.”