Survivor Notifications

A sexual assault can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a survivor’s life, often having a long-term impact. Any attempt to notify a survivor of testing results or to offer them the opportunity to re-engage with the criminal justice system must be victim-centered, trauma-informed, and protective of their confidentiality and privacy. The decisions on whether to notify a survivor are often complex. More information about the WiSAKI project's approach and recommendations to survivor notifications can be found here.

Below is an interactive dashboard relating to the survivor notification process for WiSAKI cases.

Survivor Notification Decision: This dashboard shows the total results of the survivor notification decisions being made across the state.

Reasons Survivors have not been Notified: Not all survivors will be notified of the testing results of their SAKs. This dashboard gives a statewide breakdown of the reasons provided by the local teams as to why a survivor has not been notified. The decision to notify a survivor can change over time. Definitions for these categories can be found below.

Data note: These counts only include SAKs where DNA foreign to the survivor was identified in the testing. *Not all survivors in cases where a decision to notify was made were able to be notified of the testing results; some survivors could not be located.

As more case reviews are completed by Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT's) across the state, or as more information becomes available, these counts and percentages will change (last updated 1/31/2020).

 

Already prosecuted/open warrant: The majority of these cases were adjudicated before the start of the project without testing the SAK. This also includes cases where, prior to testing the SAK, a warrant was issued but the suspect has not been located.

Case currently not proceeding to prosecution: The results of the DNA testing provided no new information or investigative leads to law enforcement and the case therefore is not proceeding to prosecution. For example, there were no CODIS hits to identify a new suspect or to confirm a previously identified suspect. This includes cases where the suspect claims any sexual contact was consensual. In addition, cases where the statute of limitations had expired are also included in this category.

Non-reporting SAK: As outlined in the project methodology, per Wisc. Stat. 175.405 non-reporting SAKs in law enforcement possession after July 1, 2011 where a suspect had not been identified were required to be tested. To respect the choice of the survivors in these cases to not engage with the criminal justice system, survivors were not notified of testing results. This also includes cases where the survivor initially reported but later chose not to proceed with the investigation or prosecution.

Notification might not be appropriate: After a case review by the local jurisdiction, information specific to the survivor or dynamics of the case suggest that it might not be safe or appropriate to offer notification at this time. Survivors always have the option to request information about the testing of their SAK by contacting the local law enforcement agency, local sexual assault service provider, or through By Your Side.

SAK testing was inconclusive: The DNA testing identified foreign DNA; however, the DNA found was inconclusive in identifying a suspect.