The Development of an Evidence-based Curriculum for Victim-Centered Notification: Training and Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Victim Service Providers in Untested Sexual Assault Cases
In the last several years, untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) emerged as a major criminal and social justice issue. Recently, we have begun to understand the underlying reasons for the untested evidence and some jurisdictions have begun to test this evidence, notify victims of results, and investigate and prosecute when possible. Moving forward, the nation is concerned with two primary questions: How will justice be served for sexual assault survivors with untested SAKs and how will offenders in these cases be held accountable?
With these questions in mind, IDVSA set out to provide training and technical assistance on victim-centered notification. Training for law enforcement, prosecutors, victim service providers, and advocates aims to increase professionals’ skills to notify and inform victims about their cases, account for victims’ needs, rights, and preferences, and reduce the risk of retraumatization in cases of untested SAKs.
Several resources were created including four webinars, and a forthcoming guide on victim notification protocols, entitled, Notifying Victims of Assault (NoVA): A Guide for Cases with Untested Sexual Assault Kits.
This webinar series provides guidance on the development and implementation of victim-centered notification practices in sexual assault cases with untested sexual assault kits. While each webinar builds upon previous content, you may choose to start with any topic and access other webinars at your convenience.
Learn more about our work on victim notification in cases of untested sexual assault kits, by reading about our work in Houston with the Houston Sexual Assault Kit Action Research project.
This project is supported by Grant No. 2014-TA-AX-K055 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Notifying Victims of Assault (NoVA): A Guide for Cases with Untested Sexual Assault Kits (FORTHCOMING)
- Noël Busch-Armendariz
- Catlin Sulley
- Sharon Hoefer
- Bethany Backes
- Mariel Dempster
- Jennifer Thompson