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The Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project (FCEP) sought to identify effective approaches and challenges encountered with the implementation of forensic compliance law mandated through the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2005 and related Colorado statutory changes in 2008. The 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 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. 

The purpose of the FCEP study was to gather data for three research objectives:
  1. Examine the case outcomes that resulted from Colorado's forensic compliance 2008 statutory changes;
  2. Detect challenges and identify gaps for medical reporting victims in the implementation of the forensic compliance laws among the four primary responding professions: medical, advocacy, law enforcement, and prosecutors;
  3. 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: 1) there is a need for a statewide, multidisciplinary committee, 2) statutory changes are required 3) policy/protocol development is necessary, 4) training is needed, 5) outreach/education is needed 6) there is a need for further research. 

More information on the FCEP study can be found by downloading the full study from CCASA's (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault) website.