Law Enforcement Toolkit

Engaging Adult Victims of Non-Stranger Sexual Assault

IDVSA logoVictims of non‑stranger sexual assault frequently do not remain engaged in the criminal justice process for a variety of reasons. However, law enforcement can make small, pivotal changes to engage victims of sexual assault to increase their motivation to participate in the criminal justice process. These changes can have a reverberating impact on a victim’s post‑assault experience and contribute to holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

The Law Enforcement Toolkit was developed in partnership with law enforcement professionals in Texas and other states as a resource for law enforcement organizations to engage or re-engage sexual assault victims. The Toolkit’s goal is to improve victim engagement in the criminal justice process in concrete ways, beginning with the initial interaction between sexual assault victims and responding officers.

The Toolkit focuses on:

  • How Texas law enforcement agencies may increase and/or improve victim engagement,
  • The critical time between a report by an adult victim to law enforcement and launch of a non-stranger sexual assault investigation,
  • Maximizing existing resources, while acknowledging financial and human constraints, and,
  • Increasing the likelihood of offender accountability for cases reported to law enforcement (with recognition that only 18% of victims in Texas report to law enforcement).

The toolkit is available here for downloading: