Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Rape survivor pushes for better police training with help of Sen. Franken

Abby Honold was sexually assaulted while a student at the U of M.

Sen. Al Franken is pushing for a new bill to better help survivors of sexual assault, all thanks to Abby Honold

When Honold was 19, she was raped by a man who had interned for Franken. It was a high-profile case that happened at the University of Minnesota in 2014.

The man went to prison last year, and Honold turned to Franken to make sure other victims don't have the same experience she did after reporting the rape. 

When she was being interviewed by police after the rape, she said her "brain was working on autopilot," so it was a struggle for her to give the account in chronological order like the investigator wanted, Honold explained during a news conference Thursday, according to WCCO.

"I felt myself mentally shutting down and not wanting to talk about it anymore," she said, according to MPR News. "I just wanted it to be over and I just wanted to go home."

Franken's Senate bill would establish federal grants for law enforcement training that will focus on how first responders and investigators interview potential victims. 

Honold credits the forensic nurse who worked with her at the hospital for helping put her rapist behind bars for multiple assaults. 

The nurse – using a technique called Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) – asked Honold about what she smelled and tasted. This method helped her remember more details about the rape. 

FETI started in the U.S. Army. And over the summer, the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) got a grant to train law enforcement agencies in this technique for free. 

Franken's bill, which he plans to introduce in a few weeks, would expand that training to law enforcement and first responders across the country, FOX 9 reports

Sexual assaults 

Most sexual assault victims never tell police about what happened. 

In fact, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says rape is the most underreported crime, even though the agency says 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. 

RAINN says only 344 of every 1,000 sexual assaults end up being reported to law enforcement. 

Victims don't report sexual assaults to police for a variety of reasons. From 2005-2010, some of the top reasons given by victims included feeling as if the police would not – or could not – do anything to help, according to RAINN.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related

Minneapolis police push back on 'fast track' training report

Reports suggested the officer who shot Justine Damond went through accelerated training.

Watch Sen. Al Franken's resignation speech

Franken delivered his remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Police want to speak to this man about a rape in St. Paul

A homeless woman was sexually assaulted near Lowertown.

Police are searching for a van after a sexual assault at gunpoint

The woman was walking to a restaurant when the masked man sexually assaulted her.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges: 'I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse'

Betsy Hodges appeared on the Facebook page for the group Break the Silence Day.

Police: U of M student sexually assaulted in dorm room

The 19-year-old was assaulted in a student room at Bailey Hall.

WI reaches out to sexual assault victims, hopes to test thousands of untouched rape kits

The key to some unsolved crimes in Wisconsin could lie in sexual assault kits lying untested on evidence shelves.

What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

We've all seen what the senator said – but what did he leave out?