Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Sexual Assault Reform


At the request of the National Institute of Justice, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) leads a comprehensive federal effort to organize and transfer knowledge and best practices of sexual assault. These practices are delivered to nurse examiners, sexual assault forensic examiners, and collaborative sexual assault response teams (SANE/SAFE/SART). This FTCoE effort focuses on systemic challenges that impede the investigation of criminal sexual assaults in the United States.

Specific goals are in place to create an awareness of resources and ensure that existing research, information, knowledge and best practices are available and accessible to all who contribute to the nation’s response to sexual assault.

Several recent federally sponsored roundtable discussions and forums have identified gaps in education and policies governing sexual assault response. This being said, further documentation and compilation of proven best practices in sexual assault response are still needed. Standardized protocols, guides and other resources exist for practitioners however, specific requirements, techniques, preferences and protocols can vary between state, local and tribal communities. To address the incongruent approaches of forensic sexual assault evidence collection, a system of knowledge-transfer and outreach will be established. This system will address strategies for developing more effective forensic sexual assault response practices.


These efforts are reflected through the federal meeting, practitioner meeting and policy forum. Documentation of these events and their final report are available below.



• Introduction to Touch DNA Evidence for Sexual Assault Groping Cases Video Series
The Multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Glossary
• Federal Meeting
• Practitioner Meeting
• Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium
• Policy Forum
• Final Report
• How Research and Technology Are Expanding Sexual Assault Kit Testing