This National Institute of Justice Special Report addresses the question of why backlogs of DNA evidence awaiting testing persist even after the federal government has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to eliminate them. Answering this question requires understanding both what a backlog is and how backlogs can be reduced; this report provides that understanding. (NCJ 230183)

Developments in the field in regards to different reporting options for sexual assault survivors and changing social expectations have made law enforcement agencies reconsider and refine their processes for working with victims of sexual violence. This article explores the major changes in policies and procedures. 
Options for Reporting Sexual Violence: Developments over the Past Decade
 
See also NSVRC Newsletter article interview with Sabrina Garcia from 2001 on this topic. 
 
End Violence Againt Women (EVAW) International offers free training and technical assistance regarding anonymous reporting.  Template materials can be downloaded and adapted to fit your community. 
 
 
 
 

This online guide provides: 
• An overview of the OJP grant process for competitive and non-competitive programs;
• Tips on how to find funding opportunities and write strong applications;
• A description of the application review process and;
• Links to other resources, including the OJP Financial Guide and sample application materials.

The NIJ-funded Survey of was conducted to estimate the number of unsolved criminal cases containing forensic evidence that had not been submitted to crime laboratories for analysis. Of crimes received by U.S. law enforcement agencies during 2007, there were an estimated total of 33,696 unsolved rapes 73% of which had forensic evidence collected.  State and local law enforcement agencies reported an estimated 27,595 unsolved (18%) rapes that had not been submitted to a crime laboratory. The study explores explanations for evidence backlogs and implications for addressing challenges faced by communities.

The 2007 Survey of Law Enforcement Forensic Evidence Processing

This Applied Research paper examines tort actions for sexual assault - law suits that seek financial compensation for wrongs that cause injury to the victim. The paper also discusses benefits and drawbacks of tort litigation for sexual assault survivors.
Civil Tort Actions Filed by Victims of Sexual Assault: Promise and Perils

This guide examines the use of polygraph tests and other truth-telling devices (sometimes called “lie-detector tests”) in sexual assault investigations. It is meant to support the Violence Against Women Act and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) provision that truth-telling devices must not be used with sexual assault victims as a condition of charging or prosecution of an offense. This guide examines special issues relevant to using truth-telling devices with sexual assault victims. Legislative and judicial actions that have been taken as a result of this debate will also be discussed. Victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and policy makers may use this guide to develop policies, practices, and procedures and to improve collaborations regarding the use of truth-telling devices as the VAWA 2005 provision is adopted across the United States. 

The report reveals that the backlog of untested rape kits in Los Angeles County is larger and more widespread than previously reported. Through dozens of interviews with police officers, public officials, criminalists, rape treatment providers, and rape victims, the report documents the devastating effects of the backlog on victims of sexual abuse.
Testing Justice: The Rape Kit Backlog in Los Angeles City and County

This report presents findings from the National Incident-Based Reporting System regarding sexual assault of young children. The data are based on reports from law enforcement agencies of 12 States and covers the years 1991 through 1996. The report presents sexual assault in 4 categories: forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling. Findings include statistics on the incidence of sexual assault, the victims, their offenders, gender, response to these crimes, locality, time of incident, the levels of victim injury, victims' perceptions of offenders' ages, and victim-offender relationships, and other detailed characteristics.
Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics

This curriculum focuses on the investigation of nonstranger sexual assaults and emphasizes investigative tools and techniques for cases in which a consent, rather than identity, defense is raised. These training materials include 12 content modules, 12 trainer's curriculum units, classroom overheads, and supplemental materials that include sample affidavits and search warrants.
Successfully Investigating Acquaintance Sexual Assault: A National Training Manual for Law Enforcement

This report presents findings from a survey of publicly operated forensic crime labs that perform DNA testing.
Survey of DNA Crime Laboratories

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