This report provides research results about Houston's victim notification process. In Houston, victim notification involves reestablishing contact with victims whose cases are reopened for investigation as a result of a match in the law enforcement database Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), from
victims’ recently tested sexual assault kits (SAKs).This action research assesses the implementation of the Complainant Notification and Hotline Protocols
by interviewing a small number of victims about their experience with notification by Houston Police Department investigators and the justice advocate, an advocate for victims.
The data analysis revealed multiple themes from victims’ notification experience, including:
Victims appreciated having more choice/control.
The time lapse had an important effect on their experience of moving on from the assault.
Several victims were trying to make meaning of their experience.
Deciding about whether to participate in their case going forward created a moral dilemma for some victims.
Victims faced many barriers in their current lives.
The notification process created both danger and opportunity for victims.
The uncertainty about the case outcome weighed heavily upon victims.
This report includes research on creating victim notification protocols. Six major themes emerged from survey respondents regarding the process of developing and implementing the Protocols. They include: 1)Strategic planning, 2) Organizational support, 3) Active partnerships, 4) Resources, 5) Outreach, and 6)Victim-centered approach. Of the six themes, researchers identified the victim-centered approach as significant to the process of developing and implementing victim notification protocols.
This report describes research on victim and professional perspectives on the delivery of victim notification procedures, implementation of new victim notification processes, victim engagement within the criminal justice system, and recommendations for improvements.
Victims and professionals made five recommendations.
Law enforcement should not assume that a victim does or does not want to be notified.
All victims should be given the opportunity to be notified, and the decision for notification should be a choice provided to all victims instead of something imposed on them by someone else.
Mechanisms for notification should be flexible and thoughtful and incorporate choices for victims.
Victims should have a choice in whether their case moves forward based on DNA testing.
Resources and support are imperative to the notification process.
This publication is designed to promote consistency in the use of terminology and data collection across organizations that work to prevent sexual violence. The updated document provides more detail on the various definitions of “sexual violence” and by addressing how technology is used to perpetrate unwanted sexual experiences. Learn more and download.
The report Women of Color Leadership, released by WOCN in 2011 in partnership with the Ms. Foundation for Women, provides poignant detail from voices women of color in executive positions within the anti-violence movement, sharing their experiences beyond the "glass ceiling.” This report also contains insights from mainstream women in leadership positions offering their added viewpoint on the barriers that women of color leaders face.
This report includes information on the top indicators of progress made by the department of defense to improve sexual assault prevention and response. It includes information on efforts to engage military leaders, take the experiences of victims into account, and the rates of incidence, prevalence and reporting.
This report discusses the PREA Standards for a multidisciplinary response to sexual abuse in confinement. It includes assessment finding and barriers and strategies for creating a meaningful, compliant response.
This report from the NCAA presents findings from an Executive Committee appointed to explore the issue of sexual assault and interpersonal violence on campus and how it relates to athletic programs. The report includes informatiton on compliance, collaboration, student perspectives, and education programs on this topic.
This report was born out of the Student Summit on Sexual Assault that was facilitated by CALCASA in April 2014. Over 50 students participated, representing public and private universities and community colleges. It includes student recommendations on how colleges and universities can better respond to incidents of sexual assault and better support survivors with resources, information and transparency.
This site is supported by Grant/ Cooperative Agreement No. 1UF2CE002359-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.