State of Assault



Students majoring in Biology, Criminal Justice, Microbiology, Nursing, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Telecommunications and Women's Studies have come together with the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry and Dr. John McKillip to address the current "State of Assault." We, as students, are immersing ourselves in a victim-centered perspective of the sexual assault casework process.

One problem we are addressing stems from forensic evidence collection and processing. Backlog of biological evidence arises from the lack of storage facilities, materials and personnel in crime laboratories throughout the United States. This dilemma has led to a backlog of convicted offender specimens which exceeds 250,000 nationwide. The growing problem of evidence analysis and storage is but one facet of assault casework. Other aspects include immediate and ongoing care for the victim, as well as navigating the complex legal network.

We are interacting directly with Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, and other regional supporting agencies to address the evolving needs and rights of sexual assault victims. Field, laboratory, law enforcement and legal perspectives are being provided by experts in each discipline, essentially following the order that medical and forensic casework takes during the collection and processing of evidence. This interdisciplinary seminar will culminate in a marketable DVD documentary with interviews and hands on activities outlining the evolving needs and future trends in sexual assault case management. This includes but is not limited to novel laboratory technologies and rape kit protocol changes.


Welcome to the Virginia Ball Center!

Top Left: Hair combings are components of the Indiana rape kit that can undergo DNA analysis.

Bottom Left: Zach Perlinski and Riley Fields watch Cameron Kinzer place his sample of DNA into agarose gel for electrophoresis.

Right: Dr. McKillip explains how to place DNA samples into the agarose gel.

State of Assault Premier

The DVD documentary will premier on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 7:15 p.m. at the Ball State Alumni Center.

The premier is open to the public. Please come and join us for this exciting event.

Community Partners

- The Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry

- Ball State University

- Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center

- Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency