U.S. Dept. of Justice. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) (Washington, DC)
“A timely, high-quality medical forensic examination can potentially validate and address sexual assault patients’7 concerns, minimize the trauma they may experience, and promote their healing. At the same time, it can increase the likelihood that evidence collected will aid in criminal case investigation, resulting in perpetrators being held accountable and further sexual violence prevented. The examination and the related responsibilities of health care personnel are the focus of this protocol. Recognizing that multidisciplinary coordination is vital to the success of the exam, the protocol also discusses the responses of other professionals, as they relate to the exam process” (p. 4). Sections contained in this publication are: Section A. Overarching Issues—coordinated team approach, victim-centered care, informed consent, confidentiality, reporting to law enforcement, and payment for the examination under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); Section B. Operational Issues—sexual assault forensic examiners, facilities, equipment and supplies, sexual assault evidence collection kit, timing considerations for collecting evidence, and evidence integrity; and Section C. The Examination Process—initial contact, triage and intake, documentation by health care personnel, the medical forensic history, photography, exam and evidence collection procedures, alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexually transmitted infection (STI) evaluation and care, pregnancy risk evaluation and care, discharge and follow-up, and examiner court appearances. Appendixes include: Developing Customized Protocols: Considerations for Jurisdictions”; “Creation of Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams”; and “Impact of Crawford v. Washington, Davis v. Washington, and Giles v. California”.
“This is a summary report from a March 2013 forum sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women that was held with the intent of further defining partnerships, implementation issues, and determining what guidance would be useful. This report summarizes key issues and suggestions raised during the forum.” Sections of this document includes: framing the issues and challenges; potential promising practices; funding resources; Forum White Paper—“Rape Crisis Centers’ Response to Victims in Corrections” by Kristin Little; and survey results from correctional agencies and advocates.
Rape crisis advocates and other victim services providers need to read this publication. It is full of vital information these professionals need in order to address the needs of victims who have been sexually assaulted in a correctional facility. “This manual aims to help advocates take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity created by the PREA [Prison Rape Elimination Act] standards. It also seeks to anticipate some of the challenges that come with helping survivors who are incarcerated. While the core principles that underpin crisis services remain the same in any setting, many advocates have limited experience providing services inside prisons and jails. The manual addresses the ways in which detention facilities are culturally distinctive, how this culture can make it difficult to deliver services to inmates, and what advocates can do to overcome these obstacles” (p. 37). Sections comprising this report are: introduction; an overview of sexual abuse behind bars; the importance of advocates; overcoming barriers to providing service behind bars; guiding principles to serving survivors in custody; hospital accompaniment for survivors; hotline services for inmates; prisoner correspondence; in-person services in detention settings; and conclusion.
“This guide is designed to assist administrators of prisons, jails, and community confinement facilities in drafting or revising protocols for an immediate response to reports of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a persistent problem in correctional environments with life-altering consequences for victims as well as for the integrity of correctional institutions and the fundamental principles of justice. The U.S. Department of Justice’s “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape” [NIC accession no. 027282] set minimum requirements for correctional facilities to increase their overall capacity to address the problem of sexual assault. This guide is intended to help these facilities comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards, which require correctional agencies to (1) follow a uniform evidence protocol when responding to sexual assault, which as appropriate is based on the U.S. Department of Justice’s A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations: Adults/Adolescents … and (2) coordinate responses to sexual assault among involved professionals” (p. 5). Sections comprising this document are: recommendations at a glance; introduction to the guide; a primer on corrections-based sexual assault; overview of the sexual assault medical forensic examination for victims in correctional facilities; and recommendations for victim-centered care and for promoting a coordinated team approach. Appendixes include: issues and recommendations for lockups; issues and recommendations for juvenile detention facilities; possible roles of core responders; and “An Assessment Tool for Corrections Administrators Drafting/Revising Protocols for an Immediate Response to Sexual Assault.”