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Untested Evidence and Cold Case Investigation

This training module is designed to help communities address the complex challenges of untested evidence in sexual assault cases. While the material is largely written with reference to cold cases, much of the guidance applies equally to current sexual assault cases and investigations that have been recently inactivated or suspended. Specific guidance is offered for notifying victims that their investigation has been re-opened, keeping victims informed of the status of their case, and providing ongoing victim support throughout the criminal justice process.

Should We Test Anonymous Kits?

This training bulletin is dedicated to answering the question of whether or not we should be “testing anonymous kits.” However, before we can do that, we need to take the question apart and examine several problems with the way it is framed. We first explore problems with the terminology and concepts surrounding both "anonymous" and "testing kits."

Reporting Methods for Sexual Assault Cases

This training module provides a thorough overview of alternative reporting options, including the philosophy, terminology, and key components for implementation. The module also includes a review of the Cambria County Anonymous Reporting Protocol and the Ashland Police Department’s You Have Options Program.

Testing Evidence in a Non-Investigative Case

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) published a critical position paper, offering guidance on the storage and testing of evidence in a non-investigative case. Entitled Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiatives and Non-Investigative Kits, the paper outlines three reasons for not submitting evidence in a non-investigative case to the laboratory for analysis. The paper also offers additional background, guidance, and context for this complex and challenging issue.

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