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SAK Research: Broadening Our Research Scope - Archive
'Broadening Our Research Scope' was presented on May 10th. The purpose was to share information on two ongoing research studies that have developed from earlier studies on sexual assault kit submission rates and sexual assault case processing.
Results were shared from a research study on demographic findings and rape crime factors of a retrospective study (cases from 2010 to 2014) of sexual assault victims (N = 2,316) in a Western state in the United States. The data was gathered from sexual assault examination forms completed by sexual assault nurse examiners in seven different counties. These findings improve our understanding of sexual assault, identify victim vulnerabilities, and provide data for the development of prevention strategies with the state health department. The second study developed from a pilot study (May 2014 - May 2015) exploring the effects of training a law enforcement agency on the neurobiology of trauma and trauma-informed response. Following training and implementing trauma-informed victim interview techniques, prosecution rates improved significantly. The study is currently being relaunched in an expanded format. Lessons learned from the pilot study and study documents were shared. This study reinforces the importance of a multidisciplinary response to improve criminal justice case processing in sexual assault cases. Testing sexual assault kits is critically important; yet, in addition, multidisciplinary education and training are necessary to move cases through the criminal justice system.


Dr. Julie Valentine
Julie Valentine is an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University College of Nursing and a certified adult/adolescent sexual assault nurse with Wasatch Forensic Nurses.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-AK-BX-K021 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.