Attorney General’s task force recommends reforms to improve state’s response to sexual assault

Saturday, December 4, 2021

OLYMPIA — The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Advisory Group convened by Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office released a report recommending reforms that will improve the state’s response to sexual assault. 

The recommendations include:
  • Addressing the shortage of sexual assault trauma nurses to ensure sufficient and appropriate care for survivors;
  • Increasing victim-centered, trauma-informed training for prosecutors to improve interactions with survivors of sexual assault who are asked to testify; and
  • Establishing consistent statewide process for collecting DNA from offenders who will not serve a term of confinement. Earlier this year the Attorney General’s Office identified hundreds of registered sex offenders from whom a DNA sample was never collected.

Additionally, the report highlights the progress made by Attorney General Ferguson’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) and legislative appropriations aimed at clearing the state’s rape kit backlog. The report details several examples of cold cases solved as a result of testing the kits that, until the initiative, languished in the evidence rooms in local law enforcement agencies.

The report is available here.

More information here, including stories of rapists who were convicted as a result.


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