National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach
The SAFER Working Group was developed to address the SAFER (Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting) Act of 2013, which recommends, in part, the development of best practices and protocols for the collection and processing of DNA evidence in sexual assault cases.
The SAFER Working Group, which convened over the course of more than two years, consisted of subject matter experts empaneled by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and representing victims, victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners, medical examiners, forensic laboratories, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and the judiciary. The working group considered issues relating to evidence collection; prioritization of evidence and time periods for collection; evidence inventory, tracking, and auditing technology solutions; investigative and policy considerations; and communication strategies. With the diversity of backgrounds and views, the SAFER Working Group successfully reached substantial agreement on a variety of complex issues.
A draft of this document was also posted for public comment in August 2016 and received a litany of generally positive feedback along with a number of extremely helpful suggestions. All of the comments were considered, deliberated, and ultimately used to strengthen the document. The recommendations in this document are not mandated by any governing body; they are provided as recommended best practices based on research, well-established processes from other disciplines, extensive professional experience of the working group members, and input from the public.
Last modified: 6/29/2022