Sexual Assault Evidence Kits; Rape Kits; Backlog


Sexual assault and rape in the U.S. are an ongoing public health issue. While approximately one-fifth of individuals will experience a sexual assault or rape in their lifetime, responses to survivors continues to be problematic. Many law enforcement agencies lack training specific to interact with sexual assault survivors, which can result in victim-blaming and oversight of trauma-informed responses. For sexual assault evidence kit (SAEK) completion, nurses can receive expert certification for this examination; however, in rural areas where all services are limited, survivors may not have access to such professionals. These struggles may result in SAEK issues in addition to documented backlog concerns. As such, the current review provides suggestions for best-practice measures in addressing sexual assault investigations, exams, and resource allocation.