This confidential survey is conducted to determine the victims’ assessments of how well the system is responding to their needs. The VES should assess the feelings of the victims regarding how their cases were handled and how they were treated by each agency/organization. To find out information about how each agency/organization responds to sexual assault victims, it is important to assess victims throughout the criminal justice process, including those whose cases
- are not reported to authorities
- are not pursued because the perpetrator is not apprehended
- are not filed (or dropped) after the initial investigation
- are pled out before or during trial
- are completed through trial, but may or may not obtain a guilty verdict; and
- result in a guilty verdict with sentences that may or may not include incarceration
Several agencies can be responsible for conducting this survey. The logical choices include the local sexual assault crisis center or law enforcement, as these agencies will have the most contact with the victim during the criminal justice process. It is recommended that your SART members work closely with the local sexual assault crisis center in developing and implementing the survey as they can be very helpful in creating a victim-sensitive survey and an appropriate implementation approach. The primary focus should be placed on victim experience, not the goal of the system. The survey packet can be mailed to victims through a lottery process to ensure randomization.