Topics: College of Sciences and Humanities, Immersive Learning

December 4, 2008

Sexual assault victims can never have too many advocates.

The latest group coming to their aid is a class of Ball State University students who spent the fall semester immersed in a victim-centered perspective of the sexual assault casework process.

Under the leadership of John McKillip, associate professor of biology, the students participating in the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry seminar created a documentary addressing two key issues in the handling of sexual assault casework: how to better meet victims' needs in the wake of assaults and how to reduce or eliminate the problematic DNA evidence backlog that exists in many states' crime labs.

A premiere of the documentary "State of Assault" will take place at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Ball State University Alumni Center, 2800 W. Bethel Ave. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are advised that the documentary contains sensitive subject material.

McKillip said the documentary will leave viewers with a better understanding of the problems faced by assault victims and future trends in sexual assault case management, such as rape kit protocol changes and new laboratory technologies. "The message is delivered in a poignant manner that should challenge all those who listen to act," he said.

The seminar's community sponsors include the Anderson Sexual Assault Treatment Center and the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency.

McKillip said the documentary is scheduled to air at 11 p.m. Dec. 8 on WIPB-TV with additional times and PBS stations in Indiana to be announced at a later date. He also hopes to market the DVD to audiences in the fields of criminal justice, forensic nursing and victim advocacy, in addition to making it available to sororities via their national headquarters.
To learn more about the project and documentary, visit