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What Happens Next? Resources for Support, Questions, and Information

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
4 pages
This resource for participants in the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) - which provides resources to local and state jurisdictions in managing their backlogs of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have not yet been submitted for lab evidence testing - poses and answers questions and provides other guidance to victims of sexual assault regarding their interaction with medical, criminal justice, and victim-service practitioners following their victimization.
Questions posed and answered regarding hospital medical care and the sexual assault medical forensic examination address who may accompany the victim to the hospital, the victim's right to a victim advocate, who may perform the medical exam, what happens during the development of the sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE) kit, and who may perform this examination, Victim questions posed and answered regarding what happens in the victim's interaction with police personnel address the request for a victim advocate, the nature of the police interview, and the features of a sexual assault report. The nature of interactions with the prosecutor's office and the defense team are discussed in a narrative instead of a question-and-answer format. Topics discussed include the prosecutor's role in the case, the victim's role in prosecuting the case, and a protective order against a known suspect, The roles of the defense attorney and defense investigators are also discussed. The brief concludes with descriptions of the roles of the victim advocate and the victim's rights attorney.