Just Improved Response to Sexual Assault

Just Improved Response to Sexual Assault

Original Release Date: April 14, 2023

In episode two of our 2023 Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Julie L. Valentine, the Associate Dean of the Brigham Young University College of Nursing, to discuss the factors that contribute to low prosecution rates for sexual assault cases.  

In our last episode, Dr. Valentine highlighted the importance of sexual assault kit submission and DNA evidence as the groundwork for prosecution in sexual assault cases. Despite national efforts to improve the submission rate of sexual assault kits for forensic testing and to support the investigation of sexual assault cases, Dr. Valentine’s research indicates that prosecution rates for sexual assault cases remain low. Listen along as Dr. Valentine discusses the challenges associated with resource allocation for improved sexual assault response reform, the outcome of her research related to prosecution rates for sexual assault cases, and how future legislation may positively impact response reform efforts.

Dr. Valentine is also participating in the FTCOE’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month webinar series. Listen to Dr. Valentine present on the use of dating apps, the value of trace/touch DNA, and research on low prosecution rates associated with sexual assault cases.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (Award #: 15PNIJ-21-GK-02192-MUMU).

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:

Guest Biography

Dr. Julie L. Valentine is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor at Brigham Young University College of Nursing and certified sexual assault nurse examiner with Wasatch Forensic Nurses. Her research focus areas are sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and the criminal justice system’s response to sexual violence. Dr. Valentine focuses on collaborative research studies uniting disciplines in sexual assault case reform to benefit victims and case processing. She developed a growing dataset of ~14,000 sexual assault cases tracking information from evidence collection through DNA analysis – the largest database of its kind. Findings from this database have informed state and national policies and interdisciplinary practices. Dr. Valentine is very active in using her expertise and research to inform legislative policy.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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