Increasing Victims’ Access to Justice: The Statute of Limitations and Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases
Articles or Reports
While there are many barriers to the prosecution of sexual assault crimes, a common challenge is the expiration of the criminal statute of limitations (SOL). As communities begin testing their previously untested sexual assault kits, and pursuing the investigation of these cases, prosecutors will invariably face a deadline or charging on some of those cases. Fortunately, there are several statutory and common law provisions that can potentially expand the standard SOL for sexual assault. By becoming familiar with these laws, prosecutors can help to increase the number of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted.
Information for Victims of Sexual Assault and Their Families
Articles or Reports
This booklet has information for you and your loved ones about reactions to sexual assault, what to expect at the hospital, from support services, and the criminal justice system. Although you may not want to read the entire booklet now, you may find the information helpful in the future.
Injury Evidence, Biological Evidence, and Prosecution of Sexual Assault
Articles or Reports | July 1, 2017
Injury evidence and biological evidence gained from forensic medical examinations of victims can provide evidence about the crime as well as the means of linking a suspect to the crime. Evidence from a forensic medical examination can include genital and non-genital injuries, biological evidence (including sperm or semen, blood, and amylase, an enzyme of saliva), and a DNA profile that can often be derived from the biological evidence. This DNA can be matched to a potential suspect, matched to another investigation in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), or matched to a convicted offender in CODIS. Injury evidence can be used to establish a victim’s lack of consent and could lead to physical assault charges.
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
Articles or Reports | January 1, 2011
This study brings to light what is both patently obvious and far too often dismissed from the human rights agenda. Transgender and gender non-conforming people face injustice at every turn: in childhood homes, in school systems that promise to shelter and educate, in harsh and exclusionary workplaces, at the grocery store, the hotel front desk, in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, before judges and at the hands of landlords, police officers, health care workers, and other service providers.
A national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that engages in research and dissemination to shape public policy and improve the lives and opportunities of women from diverse backgrounds.
Instructions for Submission of Sexual Assault Evidence in Cases Without Law Enforcement Reporting (Texas)
Protocols | July 16, 2009
Texas has developed materials to provide instructions for mailing evidence to the state crime laboratory when a forensic examination is conducted without a report to law enforcement. They may be helpful for other jurisdictions implementing a similar procedure for transferring evidence.
Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
The Interfaith Coalition is composed of 38 national faith organizations that come together to advocate for national legislation and public policies that protect all people from domestic and sexual violence, with particular concern for women and families.
International Association of Chiefs of Police
The world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders, committed to advancing the safety of communities worldwide.
International Association of Forensic Nursing
Provides leadership by developing, promoting, and disseminating information internationally about forensic nursing science.
Interviewing Skills to Use with Abuse Victims with Developmental Disabilities
This helpful resource offers tips and suggestions on how to interview victims of sexual assault with a developmental disability.
Interviews with Victims vs. Suspects: Start by Believing and the Question of Bias
Training Bulletins | October 1, 2018
Sexual assault victims have long faced unwarranted skepticism. In this training bulletin, specific examples of this historical bias are described, along with key measures that have been taken to help ameliorate it. In particular, discussion focuses on the Start by Believing philosophy and the implications for victim and suspect interviews. The goal is to inform criminal justice professionals and others about what this philosophy does – and does not – say about how to approach the investigation of sexual assault cases, including interviews with victims, suspects, and witnesses.
Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: Adjudicating this Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence Cases
This web course reviews interdisciplinary research from law, medicine, and the social sciences that is applicable to judicial decision-making and case management.
Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: Sexual Assault in the Context of Domestic Violence
Articles or Reports
This publication was developed in the context of the innovative statewide and national approach to IPSV that is emerging from the collaborative work of project partners. First published as an edition of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs’ quarterly newsletter, Connections (edited by Kathleen Arledge), this compilation of articles represents a wide spectrum of information and practical advice for assessment, intervention, and systems change.
Intimate Partner Violence in the Black Community
Articles or Reports | October 1, 2018
This fact sheet provides informaiton on intimate partner violence in Black communities, including intimate partner violence, stalking, and homicide.
Intimate Partner Violence Involving Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals: A Look at National Data
Webinars | May 8, 2019
Despite the large body of literature examining issues of intimate partner violence (IPV), relatively little is known about IPV experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals. In this webinar, researchers will discuss their study which examined reports of IPV experienced by LGB individuals with a particular emphasis on responses to these incidents including victim disclosure/help-seeking, need for services, and police response/arrest. This study relied on data captured by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (2016) and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010, General Population).
Intimate Partner Violence: Body-Worn Camera Program Considerations
Articles or Reports, Other
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recognizes that the impact of body-worn cameras on victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) may present a particularly unique set of policy and protocol challenges for law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of dialogue about the impact of cameras and recordings on victims of IPV. The unintended consequences of using cameras in these cases needs to be thoroughly examined and considered by law enforcement leaders when developing or updating policies and programs. The considerations presented here provide agencies with actions, and policy and leadership directives to assist in the creation, review, and implementation of effective, victim-focused body-worn camera programs.
Introducing Expert Testimony to Explain Victim Behavior in sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prosecutions
Articles or Reports | August 1, 2007
The prevalence of sexual and domestic violence myths causes the public to search for reasons to doubt, rather than reasons to believe, allegations of a domestic or sexual assault. This doubt often is fueled by a focus on the victim’s behavior both during and after the assault, which laypeople—who generally are inexperienced and uneducated about common victim responses to trauma—may find puzzling. Frequently, the public’s expectations of how victims “should” behave conflict with the way victims actually behave. When this occurs, the public perceives a victim’s behavior as “counterintuitive,” and, therefore, compelling evidence of her lack of credibility. Mental health experts as well as other professionals who work with domestic or sexual violence victims, however, understand
that behavior termed counterintuitive by the public actually represents common victim responses to trauma.
Investigating and Prosecuting Law Enforcement Sexual Misconduct Cases
Articles or Reports | January 1, 2018
This article addresses the steps that investigators and prosecutors should take upon learning of an allegation of law enforcement sexual misconduct. This article also examines the statutory nuances of Section 242 in the sexual misconduct context, and the evidentiary hurdles and investigatory challenges associated with effectively prosecuting a sexual misconduct case, where the offender is in law enforcement and the victim may lack perceived credibility by virtue of their status as an arrestee, inmate, or probationer.
Investigating Sexual Assault Against People with Disabilities: How to Develop an Investigative Strategy
Training Bulletins | December 1, 2015
In this training bulletin, we offer an introduction to this topic by explaining how to develop an investigative strategy in a sexual assault case where the victim has a disability. We begin by describing the legal elements that must be met in various types of sexual assault cases, regardless of whether or not the victim has a disability. For a more comprehensive discussion of this topic, please see our 20-hour Online Training Institute (OLTI) course entitled: Successfully Investigating Sexual Assault Against Victims with Disabilities.
Investigating Sexual Assault: Concepts and Issues Paper
Protocols | October 1, 2017
This Concepts and Issues Paper was developed to accompany the Model Policy on Investigating Sexual Assaults (2017) developed by the IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center. The paper provides essential background material and supporting documentation to provide a greater understanding of the developmental philosophy and implementation required for the model policy. It also addresses field investigative procedures and best practices for working with victims of criminal sexual violence. This material is designed to assist law enforcement executives in tailoring the model policy to the requirements and circumstances of their own communities and agencies.
Investigating Sexual Assault: Model Policy
Protocols | October 1, 2017
The purpose of this Model Policy on Investigating Sexual Assaults (2017) is to provide officers and investigators with guidelines for responding to reports of sexual assault, assisting victims, collaborating with local health and service agencies, and conducting interviews with victims, witnesses, and suspects. Because of the special needs involved in sexual assault investigations, this policy is an all-inclusive document that covers first response, investigation, and prosecution.
Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department
Articles or Reports | August 10, 2016
Investigation of the New Orleans Police Department
Articles or Reports | March 16, 2011
Investigator’s Follow-Up Report
Tools & Templates
Sgt. Joanne Archambault prepared this template to demonstrate what information should go into a comprehensive follow-up report for a sexual assault investigation. The template includes prompts for the type of information and sample language that can be used in sections.
Islamic Response to Domestic Violence
Articles or Reports | July 18, 2013
This publication is the result of a roundtable meeting between several leaders and activists from the Islamic Community to adress domestic violence. This session was designed to develop ways to effectively lower the rates of domestic violence and gender abuse in Islamic and other faith communities
Just Detention International
A health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention.
Justice Department Awards $45 Million to Support Testing, Tracking of Sexual Assault Kits
Articles or Reports | October 13, 2020
Kansas Model Policy: Investigating Sexual Assault – Implementation, Training, and Policy
Tools & Templates | June 1, 2018
Law enforcement is responsible for identifying the person(s) responsible for criminal acts and bringing them to justice through complete, impartial and constitutional investigation practices. They are also responsible for conducting the investigative process in a manner to ensure all steps are taken to remove suspicion from those not responsible for the criminal act. This model policy and training guide was designed to create consistency across the state for law enforcement response to sexual assault cases, from dispatch through investigation and referral to prosecution.