Due to the complexity of prosecuting sexual violence, a startlingly low number of cases ever make it to court let alone result in conviction. This disappointing reality can be self-perpetuating—victims do not bring charges, and law enforcement and prosecution do not pursue cases, especially if they do not seem winnable. Two reports by AEquitas, the Justice Management Institute, and the Urban Institute, developed under the Sexual Assault Justice Initiative, outline ways to change this: “Model Response to Sexual Violence for Prosecutors (RSVP Model): An Invitation to Lead, Volume I: Prosecution Practices” and “Model Response to Sexual Violence for Prosecutors (RSVP Model): Measuring the Impact, Volume II: Performance Management.” They recommend that rather than focusing on convictions as a measure for success, law enforcement and prosecutors should focus on the quality of the prosecution process. The RSVP Model can serve as a methodology for responding to sexual violence cases. The first volume outlines the RSVP Model, and the second volume outlines how to measure performance improvements after implementing standards from volume one.
Visit AEquitas’s website to find these and other resources related to gender-based violence and human trafficking.