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DNA in Sexual Assault Cases: The Role of Law Enforcement, SAFE/SANE Nurses, and Victim Advocates

1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered for this training.

If you are interested in seeing that DNA evidence is used effectively in sexual assault cases, this training is for you! As the use of DNA technology becomes integral to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases, everyone responding needs to know the appropriate protocols for identifying, collecting, and using DNA evidence effectively. The training is intended for law enforcement officers, SAFE/SANE medical personnel, and victim advocates to help strengthen collaboration in a team response, from the initial crime scene to prosecution of sexual assault cases. During the training participants will identify and collect DNA evidence at a simulated crime scene.

Active participation in each of the following training modules will help you accomplish these specific learning objectives:

  • Sexual Assault Response Teams
    • Provide a generic definition of a sex crime.
    • Describe the purpose of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).
    • Describe the functions of each member of a SART.
  • Roles of the First Responders
    • Explain the role of law enforcement personnel who respond to sexual assault crime scenes.
    • Explain the role of SANE/SAFE professionals when treating and examining victims of sexual assault.
    • Explain the role of victim advocates when making initial contact with victims of sexual assault.
  • Demystifying DNA
    • Define DNA.
    • Recognize DNA technology advancements.
    • List the capabilities of CODIS.
  • Identification, Collection, and Preservation of DNA Evidence
    • Identify potential DNA evidence at a crime scene.
    • Discuss proper evidence protection and collection techniques at a crime scene.
    • Describe how a forensic exam is conducted.
    • Describe how DNA evidence can become contaminated and how to avoid it.
    • Discuss proper evidence preservation techniques.
  • Legal Issues
    • Explain how DNA can incriminate or exonerate suspects.
    • Describe defense strategies for countering DNA evidence.
    • Describe how to obtain DNA samples from a suspect.
  • DNA Collection Simulation
    • Identify and collect DNA evidence at a simulated crime scene.

Let Others Know About This Training

Download Flier [PDF, 132KB] to print and distribute.

Additional Resources

Survivors, leaders, and staff affected by forensic DNA share their insights in Profiles in DNA, a new series from the DNA Resource Center.