Five Things About Sexual Assault Kits

Investments in research have dramatically improved the science of forensic DNA testing and our understanding of sexual assault kits. NIJ has released Five Things About Sexual Assault Kits to explain what we know and don’t yet know about sexual assault kits based on research to date.

Those five things include:
1) No one knows the number of kits nationwide that have not been submitted for testing
2) Little is known about the age of unsubmitted kits
3) Submitting a kit to a crime lab does not mean the lab will obtain usable DNA
4) Even if the police have a suspect, testing a kit can be useful
5) The cost to test a sexual assault kit varies widely by jurisdiction.
With continued scientific investment, NIJ believes that professionals will improve sexual assault kit testing methods and identify best practices for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.
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