Looking Back--Moving Forward: A Guidebook for Communities Responding to Sexual Assault

Looking Back -- Moving Forward:
A Guidebook for Communities Responding to Sexual Assault

The theme Looking Back, Moving Forward is appropriate for this guidebook. Looking Back recognizes the progress of the past two decades in the response to sexual assault cases by law enforcement agents, prosecutors and emergency medical care providers. Looking Back also speaks to the development of rape crisis centers and other victim services that concentrate on meeting the needs of the victim.

Moving Forward emphasizes the progress toward merging the case focus of the criminal justice system with the victim focus of victim service providers. This unification is achieved through the creation of a community Sexual Assault Interagency Council which includes representatives of law enforcement agencies, prosecution, the medical community and victim services -- and may include representatives from other agencies or organizations concerned about sexual assault. The Interagency Council functions under a set of multi-agency/multi-disciplinary guidelines, or protocol, which establish the roles for each participating agency.

Moving Forward also points to this underlying thesis: the system that addresses sexual assault in the community must be victim-centered, expanding the role of the victim from that of an important witness to an active participant in case-related decision making.

This Document is available at this time in Paper Back from The National Criminal Justice Reference Service - 1-800-851-3420, or you may visit their web page at: http://www.ncjrs.gov/

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