An Evaluation of the Implementation of the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exam (SAFE) Protocol

Brief

An Evaluation of the Implementation of the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exam (SAFE) Protocol

Methods, Data Collection Activities, and Participants

Abstract

In this brief, we describe the methods, data collection activities, and participants of the Urban Institute and the International Association of Forensic Nurses evaluation of the SAFE Protocol. Released in 2013, the second edition of the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, or SAFE Protocol, is a voluntary guide developed by the Department of Justice that local and state jurisdictions can use to inform their responses to sexual assault. It institutionalizes best practices around survivor care and evidence collection, particularly for sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) completing medical forensic examinations. In 2018, the Urban Institute and the International Association of Forensic Nurses were funded by the Office on Violence Against Women to evaluate the SAFE Protocol with the aim of understanding the extent to which its provisions had been implemented across the United States. Our mixed-methods study incorporated the perspectives of multiple stakeholders in the sexual assault response system at the state and local levels.

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