Victims Advocacy awarded $2 million grant

Provide Training, Technical Assistance to Criminal Justice Professionals, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced his Office of Victims Advocacy (OVA) will receive $2 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide training and technical assistance for criminal justice professionals and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

The funding was awarded by the DOJ’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), which supports local jurisdictions in establishing best practices for collecting and processing forensic evidence, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases, and supporting survivors of sexual assault.

“Kentucky’s criminal justice professionals and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners play a vital role in delivering justice for survivors of sexual assault, and this $2 million grant will allow us to continue supporting their important work,” said Attorney General Cameron. “I appreciate the U.S. Department of Justice for awarding this funding to assist survivors and strengthen the systems that serve them.”

The grant will assist the Attorney General’s OVA in providing statewide training and resources for law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

Through innovative clinical training, the OVA will equip Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to provide trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate forensic medical care to pediatric and adolescent patients who have experienced sexual assault.

The grant will also fund a Law Enforcement Development Specialist position within the Attorney General’s Office.  The position will focus on equipping law enforcement with tools to aid them in navigating the complexities of sexual assault cases, including sexually-motivated homicides.

In addition to these resources, the SAKI grant will allow OVA to assist law enforcement in apprehending violent sexual predators by funding the investigation and forensic genealogy testing of 25 cold cases.

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.  The office also meets regularly with the SAKI Multidisciplinary Taskforce to reach goals established under previously awarded SAKI grant projects.

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