FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (KMOX) — As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced new measures to combat sexual assaults in the military a retired Fort Leonard Wood Criminal Investigation special agent wins an international award for his work in combating sexual abuse both in the military and civilian world.

For honoree, retired 1st Sgt. Russell W. Strand, the road to recognition began a long time ago, but led to research into brain trauma and his creation of new interviewing techniques of sexual assault victims.

“I started working domestic violence cases and some child abuse cases with social workers,” said Strand. “So I got kind of a unique perspective on how law enforcement should look at human beings as far as the behavioral aspects.”

He says trauma changes the brain and what victims can remember.

A traditional law enforcement interview tries to uncover the who, what, when, and where. Strand has developed techniques that help officers focus on the experience victims have endured like the sights, sounds, and smells. Focusing there first has helped victims to uncover more detailed information.

Strand’s techniques are being called a game changer in the investigation and prosecution of many child abuse and sexual abuse cases. In 2009, Strand was called upon to interview the victims of the Fort Hood mass shooting in Texas after developing the dept. of defense special victims unit course.

The 2012 Visionary Award comes from the End Violence Against Women International Board of Directors.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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