View the event recording.

The slide presentations are available at the bottom of this page.


Law Enforcement officers play an important role in preserving the chain of evidence in sexual assault cases. Successful preservation requires that the officer works closely with Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE).

This online event examined how law enforcement can work with SAFE's in order to collect sufficient evidence and provide quality care to the victim.  The panel discussed the importance of DNA collection and non-contamination, legal considerations, and the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) requirement for states to provide free forensic exams to sexual assault victims who choose not to report the assault to law enforcement.

This event was the second of four in the Series on Sexual Violence, sponsored by the Government Innovators Network and the National Institute of Justice.  Recordings and presenters' slides are now available for each event in the series:

  1. Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: Implementation and Impact
    June 19, 2008
  2. Sexual Violence and Evidence Collection
    August 13, 2008
  3. Sexual Violence: An International Perspective
    September 25, 2008
  4. Sexual Assault on College Campuses
    December 11, 2008


Crime Scenes

Office of Justice Programs. (2000). Crime Scene Investigation. A Guide for Law Enforcement. (PDF)

Medical Forensic Examinations

A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations: Adults/Adolescents (2004). Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC. (PDF)

Sexual Assault: Forensic and Clinical Management (2008). A virtual practicum based on the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. Developed by the Interactive Media Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School. Available for order online from the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Promising Practices articles in the e-news for Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI), Inc:

 An example of an electronic form for documenting evidence from medical forensic exams.

To find out whether or not your state has a law mandating medical professionals to report suspected cases of sexual assault to law enforcement, see the interactive map created by the American Prosecutors Research Institute through the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women.

SANE/SAFE Organizing Manual: A Guide for Community Collaboration in Developing SANE/SAFE Programs (1998). Written by Anne Coonrad. Published by the New York Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Albany, NY.

SANE Development and Operation Guide (1998). Written by Dr. Linda Ledray. Published by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC. (PDF)

DNA Issues offering info about resources related to the use of DNA technology in solving crimes, protecting the innocent, and identifying missing persons.
     - info on how to present DNA evidence in court

[Video] DNA: Critical Issues for Those Who Work With Victims. (NCJ 211970). This video presents a series of interviews with crime victims, victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners, law enforcement, and prosecutors. Issues addressed include collection and preservation of evidence, what victims can expect as the case moves forward, victim notification at points along the process, victim involvement and participation in the process, and cold case investigations. The video is being released under the auspices of the President's DNA Initiative, in conjunction with National Crime Victims' Rights Week 2007, April 22-28. Copies can be obtained by contacting the OVC Resource Center at 800-851-3420 or

Anonymous Reporting

Frequently Asked Questions: Anonymous Reporting and Forensic Examinations (2008). Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. (PDF)


International Association of Forensic Nurses. IAFN's missionis to provide leadership in forensic nursing practice by developing, promoting, and disseminating information internationally about forensic nursing science. On the Edge is the IAFN's award-winning quarterly publication focusing on forensic nursing and its clinical application.

National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women. Hosted by the American Prosecutors Research Institute and the National District Attorneys Assocation, their mission is to improve the quality of justice in violence against women prosecutions by increasing awareness of the dynamics of victimization, identifying best prosecution practices, developing research and reference resources and providing training and technical assistance at the national, regional and local levels for prosecutors, law enforcement and other allied professionals. They publish a newsletter called The Voice.

End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International works to improve the criminal justice and community response to violence against women. We provide education, training, and research, and we promote multidisciplinary collaboration which enables responding professionals to better support victims and hold offenders accountable. We also foster effective prevention programs, all toward the vision of eliminating violence against women.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as the nation's principle information and resource center regarding all aspects of sexual violence. It provides national leadership, consultation and technical assistance by generating and facilitating the development and flow of information on sexual violence intervention and prevention strategies. The NSVRC works to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, prevention efforts and the distribution of resources. provides information and technical assistance to individuals and institutions interested in developing new SANE-SART programs or improving existing ones.


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