Is Forensic Compliance Working? Lessons Learned from the Colorado Evaluation Project

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75 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 6, 2021

Brie Franklin, MA
Executive Director, Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Lisa Ingarfield
Lisa Ingarfield, PhD
Owner, Defi Consulting
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Sandi Kister, JD
Deputy District Attorney, Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office
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Jennifer Hankel, MA
Program Evaluation Supervisor, Child Welfare Division, Denver Department of Human Rights

The efficacy of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) forensic compliance provisions have not been systematically evaluated since the inception of the laws in 2005 and 2013. Data on how forensic compliance is being implemented, why survivors are choosing certain reporting options, and what actually happens to cases when a survivor decides at a later time to engage with a law enforcement investigation is a largely unknown landscape. No consistent standards for forensic compliance data collection exist, with potentially every jurisdiction using a varying method or in some cases, not tracking data at all. Colorado, like many states, has not successfully tracked the incidence of forensic compliance cases and their criminal justice outcomes. In 2017, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA), in partnership with two Colorado Judicial District Attorney’s offices (one urban, and one rural), the State of Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, received funding through the Office of Violence Against Women’s Research and Evaluation grant to evaluate the implementation of VAWA’s forensic compliance provisions. The Colorado Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project (CFCEP) has two aims: (1) to document how forensic compliance is implemented on the ground in two Colorado judicial districts and (2) to track adult sexual assault cases to understand what happens when a survivor initially chooses a non-investigative report at the point of receiving medical care and later “converts” their case to a full law enforcement report.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify the challenges of tracking sexual assault case data statewide
  • Assess the ways forensic compliance provisions are implemented in an urban and rural community and the identified gaps and challenges with implementation.
  • Examine what is happening to forensic compliance cases when the survivor converts their case to a law enforcement investigation and how the outcomes of those cases compare to cases initially reported to law enforcement. 


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