The Florida Office of the Attorney General, Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs with input from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and the Florida Statewide SART Advisory Committee released a newly updated Protocol for Adult and Child Forensic Exams in the month of April 2015. This protocol, pursuant to the release of the Second Edition of the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, greatly expands on the recommended best practices for evidence collection during forensic exams and provides detailed information on special issues relevant to sexual battery victims. The last edition of the Attorney General’s protocol was issued in 2007. The new protocol includes information not only on evidence collection procedures, but highlights survivor’s rights as well as how to deliver services in a victim-centered fashion.
Special sections of the protocol cover issues such as mandatory reporting, cultural and religious issues and working with special populations including but not limited to: older victims and victims with disabilities, LGBTQ victims and victims of co-occurring sexual violence and domestic violence. The protocol includes detailed instructions on evidence collection including obtaining consent from survivors to conduct the forensic exam, directions for swabbing, taking blood for toxicology purposes as well as evidence packaging and photography.