Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–1909. Sexual assault victim advocates and sexual assault youth victim advocates; sexual assault victim advocate dispatch system.

(a)(1) Hospitals shall, if a sexual assault victim who is 13 years of age or older consents, immediately notify the sexual assault victim advocate dispatch system before beginning any forensic medical, evidentiary, or physical examination arising out of a sexual assault or an alleged sexual assault.

(2) A sexual assault victim advocate shall, for sexual assault victims 18 years of age or older, and a sexual assault youth victim advocate shall, for sexual assault victims ages 13 to 17, inform the sexual assault victim of their rights under this subchapter.

(b) The MPD shall, for a person known or suspected to be a sexual assault victim 13 years of age or older:

(1) Upon making, provide to that person a Sexual Assault Victim's Rights Card;

(2) Before beginning an interview, advise the person of a sexual assault victim's right to either a sexual assault victim advocate, if the sexual assault victim is 18 years of age or older, or a sexual assault youth victim advocate, if the sexual assault victim is ages 13 to 17;

(3) If a sexual assault victim asserts their right to a sexual assault victim advocate or a sexual assault youth victim advocate, only conduct a minimal facts interview before the sexual assault victim consults with the advocate; and

(4) If a sexual assault victim declines their right to a sexual assault victim advocate or sexual assault youth victim advocate, notify the sexual assault victim of their right to have a sexual assault victim advocate or a sexual assault youth victim advocate present as provided in § 23-1908.

(c)(1) By June 1, 2020, the independent expert consultant, as that term is defined in § 4-561.01(6), shall submit to the MPD a report making recommendations on the scope of a minimal facts inquiry.

(2)(A) By April 1, 2020, the independent expert consultant shall provide a draft of the report making recommendations on the scope of a minimal facts inquiry to the SART.

(B) SART members may provide to the independent expert consultant written comments in response to that draft report within a reasonable period of time, to be determined by the independent expert consultant, but not less than one month.

(3) The independent expert consultant shall consider all written comments that are timely received from SART members under paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection and submit its final report to the MPD based on the comments received.

(4) The MPD shall, within 60 days after receiving the independent expert consultant's final report, issue a general order regarding the scope of a minimal facts inquiry.

(d) The MPD's duties described in subsection (b) of this section shall:

(1) For sexual assault victims ages 13 to 17, be performed by a member of MPD's Youth Division; and

(2) For sexual assault victims 18 years of age or older, be performed by a member of MPD's Sexual Assault Unit.

(e)(1) There is established a sexual assault victim advocate dispatch system that:

(A) For a sexual assault victim ages 13 to 17:

(i) Dispatches a sexual assault youth victim advocate to settings in which the sexual assault victim has the right to a sexual assault youth victim advocate's presence pursuant to § 23-1908(a)(3); or

(ii) Provides the sexual assault victim with electronic access, including telephonic access, to a sexual assault youth victim advocate:

(I) In settings or during times in which dispatching a sexual assault youth victim advocate is impracticable; or

(II) Upon the sexual assault victim's request; and

(B) For a sexual assault victim 18 years of age or older:

(i) Dispatches a sexual assault victim advocate to settings in which the sexual assault victim has the right to a sexual assault victim advocate's presence pursuant to § 23-1908(a)(3); or

(ii) Provides the sexual assault victim with electronic access, including telephonic access, to a sexual assault victim advocate:

(I) In settings or during times in which dispatching a sexual assault advocate is impracticable; or

(II) Upon the sexual assault victim's request.

(2) The sexual assault victim advocate dispatch system shall be developed by OVSJG and approved by the SART.


(Nov. 20, 2014, D.C. Law 20-139, § 101(c), 61 DCR 5913; Mar. 3, 2020, D.C. Law 23-57, § 8(d), 66 DCR 15914.)

Applicability

Section 9(b) of D.C. Law 23-57 provided that the changes made to this section by section 8(d) of D.C. Law 23-57 shall apply as of March 3, 2020.