The 8-Step Model for Developing Protocol

Video: The 8-Step Model for Developing Protocol

These eight steps can help improve your organization’s response to sexual violence.

About the 8-Step Model

The 8-Step Model for Developing Protocol offers a process that counties in Minnesota can replicate to design a local response to sexual assault that is victim-centered and meets the specific needs and resources of each county.

The model is based on the book Improving Response to Crime Victims: An 8-Step Model for Developing Protocol, by Anita Boles and John Patterson, available from Sage Publications.

  1. Inventory of Existing Services: What agencies or organizations are providing services to victims/survivors of sexual assault? What are their services?
  2. Victim Experience Survey: Who are victims/survivors talking to about their experience? When they reached out for help what type of response did they receive?
  3. Community Needs Assessment: How does the general public see the community’s response to sexual violence? How many cases occur and are reported in the community? Is there general community dialog about sexual violence and its prevention?
  4. Writing Protocols: Combining the findings of the first three steps, the team designs victim-centered, interdisciplinary protocols that pay particular attention to communication and collaboration across agency lines to ensure the best response for victims. Protocols should address problems identified by the community, service providers and victims.
  5. Renewing Interagency Agreements: Participating agencies formally adopt the written protocols and commit resource to ensure that all affected staff are fully trained in their responsibilities.
  6. Training: All affected agencies participate in multidisciplinary training to ensure full understanding and implementation of the agreed upon protocols.
  7. Monitoring: Teams design processes to gain feedback from those charged with implementing the protocols to ensure that a) they are being properly implemented and b) they are achieving the desired results.
  8. Evaluation: Teams design processes to measure the extent to which system problems have been eliminated, victims feel supported through the process and criminal justice professionals have increased their skills in responding to incidents of sexual assault. This process is designed to be cyclical with the evaluation leading the team back to step one. Through this repeated review process, the sexual assault response can continue to be effective and victim-centered through changes in a community’s populations, in the dynamics of assault, and in victim needs.

Minnesota teams using the Eight-Step Process

The counties and reservations below have Sexual Assault Response Teams that use the 8-Step Process for Protocol Development. The SVJI and all sites are funded by the Office of Justice Programs with STOP VAWA funds.

  • Beltrami County
  • Carver County
  • Clearwater County
  • Fond du Lac Indian Reservation
  • Goodhue County
  • Hennepin County
  • Isanti County
  • Itasca County
  • Leech Lake Reservation
  • Lyon County
  • Mille Lacs County
  • Olmsted County
  • Ramsey County
  • Red Lake Reservation
  • Rice County
  • Southern St. Louis County
  • Winona County


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