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EVAWI > Resources > Best Practices > Reporting Options
Reporting Methods for Sexual Assault Cases

This training module provides guidance for officers and investigators on making the critical determination whether a sexual assault will be recorded with an official crime report or an informational report – and exploring the implications for subsequent criminal justice processing.

Ashland Police Department: "You Have Options" Program

The Ashland Police Department in Oregon recently launched a program called “You Have Options.” As of January 1, 2013, victims have the option of reporting their sexual assault in a variety of ways, including “Information Only,” “Partial Investigation,” and “Complete Investigation.” Basic information on these options can be found on the police department’s webpage, which links to an external website offering more extensive details on the program’s background and purpose, as well as related topics such as the medical forensic exam, the role of advocates, the process of an investigation, and reporting issues for male victims and victims under the age of 18. They have also developed a short video that poignantly depicts the need for such a program by highlighting the problem it was designed to address (i.e., skepticism of sexual assault reports and victim-blaming attitudes). The program offers an innovative and inspiring example for other law enforcement agencies to follow.

Webinar on Alternative Reporting Methods

In this webinar, we explore a number of community models that have been implemented to improve victims' access to the criminal justice and community response systems. Best practices are reviewed from across the country, and existing tools and resources are also evaluated. With a focus on local implementation, our goal is prepare participants to make recommendations for positive changes in their own communities.

IACP Supplemental Report Form and Guidelines

When victims are given the option to report anonymously and/or through a third party, it will be necessary to develop a form for them to use. One recommendation is to adapt the Supplemental Report Form developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This form is also posted on the IACP website, along with corresponding Investigative Guidelines for sexual assault cases. These tools are based upon national best practices regarding sexual assault investigations and were developed in collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, medical, and forensic professionals. The goal is to support officers and departments in preparing sexual assault cases for successful prosecution through detailed case documentation and thorough investigations. (Note: These guidelines are not intended for use when the victim is a minor.)

Direct Anonymous Reporting: Multidisciplinary Protocols Offer Alternative Option for Victims

This article in Sexual Assault Report offers background information on alternative reporting options for victims of sexual assault. Authors Sgt. (Ret.) Joanne Archambault and Dr. Kim Lonsway provide concrete guidance for those seeking to implement a protocol for direct anonymous reporting, clarify some common misconceptions, and help to avoid frequent pitfalls.

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