National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach

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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