Key Components of Building a Successful Victim Notification Protocol
University of Texas at Austin Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA), 2015
A goal of the Houston Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project was to collaborate across disciplines to create an innovative, sensitive, and trauma-informed model of victim notification. Thus, members of an interprofessional working group developed and implemented the Complainant3 Notification and Information Line Protocols (herein after referred to as “Protocols”). The Protocols outline the methods to re-engage sexual assault victims who had reported to police and undergone a forensic examination, but their forensic evidence was untested until recently. The aim of this report is to present findings from original action research conducted about the process of developing and implementing the Houston Police Department (HPD) Protocols. Authors also provide recommendations for other jurisdictions that want to undertake or are undergoing similar assessments of their victim notification protocols related to cases with SAKs that sat untested in police property rooms.