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.

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Issue 21 of the Strategies In Brief Newsletter discusses ways that prosecutors and allied criminal justice professionals can help to return property to victims of human trafficking.

This report describes the successes and challenges of reducing backlogs of DNA evidence in the nation’s crime laboratories and describes some of the solutions that are increasing lab efficiencies. Data was collected from more than 120 public laboratories that receive grants under NIJ’s DNA Backlog Reduction Program.

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This curriculum provides information about the medical forensic sexual assault examination, and explores some of the legal issues involved in expert testimony and evidence provided through a forensic exam. It addresses some of the limitations on the scope of SANE testimony, as well as limitations as to what the examination findings can actually prove. 

Issue #19 of the Strategies in Brief Newsletter discusses the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the collection and use of DNA from violent offenders to help solve cold cases. This decision resolved disagreement between federal and state court systems.

This curriculum addresses the way multidisciplinary audiences write and talk about sexual violence. It provides training on how word choice can make perpetrators seem invisible or minimize the harm caused to the victims.

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