Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
Law Enforcement Officials
Officers who respond to sexual assault reports assess whether victims need immediate medical attention and take brief statements to determine that a sexual assault occurred. Officers also determine whether there are multiple crime scenes, take steps to secure and collect evidence, and submit written reports to investigators.
In addition, responding officers may59
- Explain the investigation steps to victims, including the need to ask personal information about the assault.
- Interview victims as briefly as possible to obtain the necessary facts.
- Explain basic services that are available and provide referrals.
- Ask dispatchers to notify appropriate support services (e.g., investigator, photo lab, fingerprint technician, victim counselor).
- Identify and collect clothing and other crime scene evidence.
- Broadcast suspect information, if appropriate.
- Explain the importance of medical forensic examinations and the timeframe in which evidence typically remains viable.
- Arrange for victims' transportation to and from the exam site, as needed.
- Ensure that victims bring additional clothing to the exam site.
- Coordinate collection and delivery of evidence to designated labs or law enforcement facilities.
- Follow the chain of custody in handling and submitting physical evidence.
- Obtain witness statements.
- Obtain suspect forensic examinations.