Law enforcement plays a vital role in sexual assault response. For previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, law enforcement will conduct victim notifications and case follow up that is needed after receiving the results of kit analysis. The following resources have been compiled to assist law enforcement in ensuring their follow-up investigations and victim notifications are conducted in a manner that is victim-center and trauma-informed, keeping aligned with the overall goals of SAKI.
Upon receipt of analysis results, law enforcement should begin a review of the case file to see how the DNA test results impact the status of the case. The National SAKI Training and Technical Assistance team, led by RTI International, have developed recommendations for CODIS hit follow up that may assist agencies interested in developing procedures to follow up on the information that is provided through the analysis of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. This document can be located by clicking here.(https://sakitta.org/resources/docs/SAKI_CODIS_FollowupProtocol_AdditionalStrategies_Brief_final.pdf)
In some cases, law enforcement will need to notify the victim of the results obtained through the analysis of the victim’s sexual assault kit. The SAKI Multi-disciplinary team has created a protocol for law enforcement to use when conducting victim notifications. This protocol was created for law enforcement and advocacy agencies to provide a model framework for notifying the victim of testing results, especially in cases where the kit was not tested for several years. The victim notification protocols outline when notification should occur, how notification should occur, and items for special consideration when conducting victim notification. (Victim notification protocol infographic).
Sexual assault cold case investigations can present unique challenges for law enforcement. It is essential to ensure that law enforcement is provided the appropriate resources needed to investigate these cold cases. Any agencies with questions or seeking additional resources can contact the SAKI Project Coordinator for assistance.
The following resources offer strategies for sexual assault investigations: