Sexual Assault

Making the Case for Victim-Centered Notification with Untested Sexual Assault Kits

The University of Texas School of Social Work is hosting a 6-part webinar that will provide guidance on the development and implementation of victim-centered notification practices in sexual assault cases with untested sexual assault kits. The 1st, Making the Case for Victim-Centered Notification with Untested Sexual Assault Kits, is being offered January 29th, from 1-2pm ET. This is a great session for SARTs and other multidisciplinary teams, so please share widely. Click through for details:

From the site:

Over the last several years, the nation has learned about untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) sitting in law enforcement property rooms around the country. These untested SAKs have led us to ask two primary questions: how will justice be served for sexual assault victims with untested SAKs and how will offenders in these cases be held accountable? To answer these questions, immediate first steps have included jurisdictions developing policies, testing unanalyzed SAKs, notifying victims, and investigating and prosecuting when possible. When jurisdictions test unanalyzed SAKs, it is imperative that notification is conducted ethically and sensitively. Victim-centered notification will lead to better engagement between the victim and the criminal justice system, and the potential for victims to be revictimed by the system is reduced. This webinar will provide an introduction to victim-centered notification in sexual assault cold cases that is evidence-based and trauma-informed. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates will learn how to apply elements of procedural justice to notification strategies that will improve the experience for victims, and lead to more successful investigations and prosecution outcomes. Both untested SAKs and the traumatic effects of revictimization experienced by victims are major criminal and social justice issues – attending to victims’ needs, rights, and preferences will help to address these issues with fundamental fairness and justice.