The Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released a report on National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach. The report describes a victim-centered approach to sexual assault cases that positively impacts sexual assault response, the experiences of victims, and ultimately results in safer communities. The report emphasizes the importance of victim engagement.

The recommendations call for careful, step-by-step medical-forensic examinations performed by health care professionals specifically trained in sexual assault examinations. They include laboratory guidelines and timelines for efficiently generating CODIS-eligible DNA profiles and a call for mandatory training of all who respond to or deal with incidents of sexual assault.