In August of 2017, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released a report on National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach. In 2013, the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Report Act (SAFER Act) was passed into law amending the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 to provide funds for grants to be administered to laboratories to address the critical need of eliminating the backlog of sexual assault kits, the law requires an establishment of protocols and practices.

In consultation with Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies, and government laboratories, the Department was required to develop and publish a description of protocols and practices to ensure accurate, timely, and effective collection and processing of DNA evidence, including practices specific to sexual assault cases. To that end, NIJ created the SAFER Working Group, which convened to develop protocols and practices to positively improve sexual assault responses and the experiences of victims.

This report, requested by congress, provides 35 of those recommended practices and protocols. For more information on the 35 recommendations and the report, please visit: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/250384.pdf

The purpose of the SANE Program Development and Operation Guide (Guide) is to provide a blueprint for nurses and communities that would like to start a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. For communities with existing SANE programs, the Guide serves as a resource to help expand or enhance services provided to the community. This Guide is designed to both complement and integrate resources that already exist.

The guidance, through a series of detailed case examples, advises law enforcement agencies to incorporate the following principles into clear policies, comprehensive training and effective supervision protocols:

  • Recognize and address biases, assumptions and stereotypes about victims.
  • Treat all victims with respect and employ interviewing tactics that encourage a victim to participate and provide facts about the incident.
  • Investigate sexual assault or domestic violence complaints thoroughly and effectively.
  • Appropriately classify reports of sexual assault or domestic violence.
  • Refer victims to appropriate services.
  • Properly identify the assailant in domestic violence incidents.
  • Hold officers who commit sexual assault or domestic violence accountable.
  • Maintain, review and act upon data regarding sexual assault and domestic violence.

This practitioner focused report of findings from a national research project on Sexual Assault Response Team functioning and effectiveness.

The full version of the technical research report to the National Institute of Justice is available online.
Scientific publications of the data in peer-reviewed journals with full methodological details are also available.

The 2014 Fall & Winter edition of The Resource celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.

Vice President Joe Biden recently deemed VAWA his “proudest legislative achievement.” In an article inside this issue, a legal advocate gives an inside look at what it was like to work on the second iteration of the landmark legislation in 1998.

Other topics covered in this issue include:

  • Primary prevention: It’s for everyone, so how can we make getting started more accessible?
  • Community Voices: We asked members of the anti-sexual violence movement to tell us their favorite ways to practice self-care.
  • Racism: Becoming an anti-racist organization is a process; let’s begin.
  • Evaluation: It’s important to evaluate our prevention work. But how can we do that effectively?

There’s even more inside! Want to read about a topic we haven’t covered? Send your idea to resources@nsvrc.org. Thanks for reading.

This document, written by Hallie Martynuik, provides infomation on steps to created an institution based SART as well as lessons learned.

 

This guide provides information that will help in responding to transgender survivors of sexual assault in a way that is helpful, informed, and supportive.

Access the guide.

This study examined the structure and functioning of U.S. SARTs, patterns of SART implementation and how these patterns relate to SARTs perceived effectiveness at improving victim and legal outcomes.

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 requires that sexual assault victims must not be required to file law enforcement reports in order to receive free exams. This study examined how states are meeting these goals. It found that victim compensation funds are by far the largest funder of exams across the country. In the 19 jurisdictions included in case studies, victims generally received free exams without having to report if they did not want to. However, barriers to even accessing the exam prevent some victims from seeking help.

Read full report.

Download June 12, 2014 Webinar Powerpoint Slides

Read related policy briefs:

 

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - SART (Sexual Assault Response Team)