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Sexual Violence and Evidence Collection - Expert Chat Webinar, NIJ and Harvard's Government Innovators Network

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2008
5 pages
This video and transcript - the second in a series of four webinars of the Government Innovatros Network's "Series on Sexual Violence" - discusses the importance of evidence collection in sexual violence cases, even when victims choose not to report the assault to police.
One presentation focuses on the resources essential for a thorough and comprehensive collection of evidence in cases of sexual violence. These include the use of specially trained multidisciplinary teams (specialized detective units, forensic nurse examiners, victim advocates, and advocacy centers) and the collection of a variety of physical evidence at crime scenes (DNA, including animal and plant DNA, and fingerprints). Crime-scene goals are outlined. Rules for protecting the evidence at the crime scene are also provided. Another presentation gives advice on conducting forensic medical examinations of victims of sexual violence. Another presentation is intended primarily for prosecutors, as it prioritizes what prosecutors need to build a strong case that involves sexual violence. In the concluding presentation, a law enforcement investigator from the Phoenix Police Department and the Deputy Chief of the New York State Attorney General's Office discuss what investigators and prosecutors must do separately and in cooperation in order to increase the chances of a conviction in cases of sexual violence.

Date Published: August 1, 2008