Forensic Compliance Team
What is FCT?
The Forensic Compliance Team (FCT) is a group of multidisciplinary stakeholders from across the state who meet quarterly to address ongoing forensic compliance and policy concerns related to sexual assault in Colorado. The team provides feedback and support to Colorado service providers to ensure the state is in compliance with Violence Against Women Act forensic compliance mandates.
The Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project
The FCEP, an evaluation project developed and implemented by the FCT, sought to identify effective approaches and challenges encountered with the implementation of forensic compliance law mandated through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and related Colorado law. Forensic compliance laws mandate that sexual assault victims receive medical forensic exams at no cost to the victim without required participation in a law enforcement investigation.
The FCEP Study (PDF) examined the implementation and impact of forensic compliance laws through a quantitative analysis of adult forensic compliance cases, and quantitative and qualitative surveys of professional responders to adult sexual assault cases - medical professionals, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors.
FCEP Research Objectives
- Examine the case outcomes that resulted from changes to Colorado law in 2008;
- Detect challenges and identify gaps for medical reporting victims in the implementation of the forensic compliance laws among primary responding professions (medical, advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors);
- Evaluate the effectiveness and clarity of current Colorado statutes related to the response to adult sexual assault victims.
A series of recommendations resulted from the study. Data obtained in the study demonstrated that there are issues and gaps in consistent, statewide implementation of forensic compliance. Recommendations in the study are broken up into six primary categories:
- There is a need for a statewide, multidisciplinary committee,
- Statutory changes are required,
- Policy/protocol development is necessary,
- Training is needed,
- Outreach/education is needed,
- There is a need for further research.
In 2013, the FCT published a report titled, Forensic Compliance in Colorado: An Examination of System Response to Sexual Assault (PDF) in 2013. One of the recommendations of the FCEP was to create a statewide multidisciplinary protocol. In 2017, the FCT also published Sexual Assault Reporting Options: Guidelines for Response (PDF) to assist service providers across the state in understanding the law and various reporting options for survivors of sexual assault in Colorado.