AG updates website dedicated to assisting survivors of sexual assault, law enforcement

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today announced updates to a website dedicated to seeking justice for survivors of sexual assault.  The recently re-designed website, kentuckybacklog.com, equips multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim advocates with tools to aid in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault crimes.

Kentuckybacklog.com also supports survivors by supplying resources to aid them in navigating the criminal justice system and healing from sexual assault, including a search function to determine the testing status of Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) kits.

Other updates include an updated guide for law enforcement on Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) investigation strategies and best practices for implementing trauma-informed victim notification. The site also includes legislative updates, media resources, and a timeline of events related to the testing of SAFE kits.

“Our multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, and other allied professionals tirelessly undertake efforts to provide justice for survivors of sexual assault, and we are committed to working with our partners to develop tools, like this website, to assist them in their work to support survivors,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “I appreciate the U.S. Department of Justice for the grant funding these updates.”

In 2019, Kentucky completed testing of all previously untested SAFE kits. Since that time, the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory has been working to review data from each kit to identify DNA. Once a technical review is complete, a DNA profile is created and entered into the national DNA database, referred to as “CODIS.” The members of the multi-disciplinary teams then receive a report from the crime lab indicating whether there was DNA and a CODIS match. Once these results have been received, the teams work together with survivors to investigate and prosecute those guilty of these crimes.

Originally funded by the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, kentuckybacklog.com was created to share information related to untested SAFE kits with stakeholders.

“Maintaining vital resources, like kentuckybacklog.com, is essential to the success of our partners as they use a trauma-informed approach to address sexual assault and abuse crimes involving new and untested kits,” said Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs Staff Attorney Laela Kashan. “We are also grateful for the support this site offers to survivors and want to remind them that our programs are available for support 24/7 at (800) 646-HOPE.”

Since 2015, when the Kentucky Legislature passed a resolution requiring a statewide count of untested SAFE kits, Kentucky has been awarded a number of grants to process previously untested SAFE kits, to investigate and prosecute cold cases, and to re-engage with survivors. The recent updates to kentuckybacklog.com were funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).

The Attorney General’s Office of Victims Advocacy (OVA) manages the SAKI program and works to improve victim-centered, trauma-informed investigation and prosecution through trainings and resources for law enforcement and prosecutors.  OVA also assists victims and their families and works to strengthen victim-service systems.

To view the updated kentuckybacklog.com website, click here, and to learn more about the Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Victims Advocacy click here.

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