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Additional Resources

Victim Notification and Investigation "Best Practice" Tips for Law Enforcement

The Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations has created these tips to assist in planning and conducting survivor notifications and cold case investigations. 

Investigating and Prosecuting Non-Stranger and Stranger Cold Case Sexual Assaults

Presentation on best practices, National Center for Victims of Crime

Physical Evidence Collection Guide

Guidelines for evidence collection, Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory

VIDEO: Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma—Introduction

Understanding how trauma and abuse affect children, Office for Victims of Crime

Interview Strategies for Police Officers Investigating Sexual Offenses

Strategies for investigating a sex crime, Law Enforcement Today

Investigating Rape Crimes, Part 1: Guidelines for first responders

Tips for responding to a sex crime, PoliceOne.com

Investigating Sexual Assaults

Best investigation practices, IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center

VIDEO: Sexual Assault Investigations Dynamics & Challenges

Challenges to investigating a sexual assault, Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Basic Guidelines on Approaching Victims of Crime

Best practices for approaching a victim, Office for Victims of Crime

Interviews of Suspects

Reid interviewing skills for the perpetrator, John E. Reid

Positive Persuasion – Motivating the Subject to Tell the Truth

Reid interviewing skills for the perpetrator, John E. Reid

First Response to Victims of Crime

Best practices for interviewing a victim, National Sheriffs' Association

Breakdown of the Investigation Process

Best practice tips for investigation of an abused child, Mama Bear Effect, Inc.

Investigating Cold Case Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is one of the most challenging crimes to investigate, and cold cases present even more unique difficulties.


A subgroup of the DANY grant task force created a guide, "Approaching Backlog Cases: A How-To Guide" to assist law enforcement in investigating and conducting survivor notifications.

Visit the How-To Guide Page or download the PDF version of the guide

Jim Markey, a national expert on investigating cold case sexual assaults, headlined a 3-day training event hosted by the Attorney General's Office in Kentucky in 2017. Jim has shared the following resources assist law enforcement in approaching these cold cases:

Pt. 2: Effectively Preparing Cases

Pt. 1: Realities of Sexual Assault

Pt. 3: Working the Case

The International Chiefs of Police has produced this 3-part series on bringing sexual assault offenders to justice. Videos embedded with permission from ICP.

Conducting Investigations

In the video below, Jim Hopper, Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School, discusses how sexual assault victims' brains respond in ways that police officers' brains do when they're involved in shootings. Video embedded with permission from Dr. Hopper.

Trauma-informed - Attending to the survivor's emotional and physical safety; using resources, services and support to increase the survivor's capacity to recover; and educating survivors, service providers and the general community about the impact of sexual-assault trauma on the health and well-being of the victim.

Law enforcement experts have begun working closely with experts of the neurobiology of trauma to better understand how to communicate with and respond to these survivors in the aftermath of sexual assault.

Trauma-Informed Approach

How To Get Started: A Checklist for Assessing Cold Cases

Step-by-Step Guide to Investigating Cold Case Sexual Assaults

Excerpt from Phoenix PD Policy on Investigating Backlog Cases

Sample Procedure for Receiving a CODIS Hit