Behind every sexual assault case is a person whose life has been irrevocably altered. The first responders, law enforcement investigators, forensic nurse examiners, laboratory analysts, victim advocates, and attorneys who support and interact with victims in different ways can work together to positively impact a victim’s post-assault experience and improve healing and recovery.
The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act is focused on the accurate, timely and effective collection and processing of DNA evidence in sexual assault investigations. In support of these efforts, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released a set of best practices in response to the community’s needs.
Through the report, “National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach”, the NIJ’s expert working group created 35 recommendations providing a guide to victim-centered approaches for responding to sexual assault cases and better supporting victims throughout the criminal justice process.
The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), in collaboration with the NIJ, has developed the National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits Mobile App to create a mobile-friendly version of the “National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach” report. The National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits Mobile App allows users to view the report on a mobile device, such as a smartphone, for easy recall of the report’s content.
Additionally, the app allows the user to bookmark specific pages of the guide for easier future recall, as well as share specific pages of the guide with native (E-mail, messaging, AirDrop®, etc.) and app-specific (Outlook®, Microsoft Teams®, Gmail™, etc.) methods.
Utilizing the device’s Location Services, the app also provides the user with the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) Web site (rainn.org) for a summary of state laws associated with sexual assault specific to the state in which the user is currently located. The RAINN Web site, paired with the location services of the app, provides concise information about the sexual assault laws specific to the location of the user which is critical supplemental information to the material already provided by the “National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach” report.
In addition to the content of the report, the app has links to the Center for Forensic Nursing’s Multidisciplinary Glossary on Sexual Violence, the PDF version of the “National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach” report, and to the FTCoE Web site (forensiccoe.org).
For more information, or to download the app, visit https://tinyurl.com/8f8ks797