Communities and agencies are encouraged to create a victim notification protocol to determine how victim notifications will be completed on previously unsubmitted and untested sexual assault kits.
SAKI has created resourcesand protocols that could be adopted or altered to fit a community’s or agency’s needs. Learn moreabout completing victim notifications and what important best practices have been developed.
Victim Notification Resources
As soon as possible an advocate should conduct a needs assessment with the survivor to address questions, concerns and provide appropriate referrals.
SAKI Therapeutic Treatment Fund
Any survivor that had a previously unsubmitted, untested or disposed of kit can access the SAKI Therapeutic Treatment Fund. Even those survivors who decide they do not want to participate in the criminal justice process. It is recommended that any survivor notified about their previously unsubmitted, untested or disposed of kit is offered an application for the SAKI Therapeutic Treatment Fund.
This FAQ Sheet was developed to answer survivor’s frequently asked questions about CODIS and sexual assault kit testing.
Safety and Privacy Planning
Survivors who are notified often want to know about the suspect, including where the suspect currently resides. It is not uncommon that survivors will have safety concerns, especially if the suspect is going to be re-contacted or newly identified through DNA. You may want to check if the suspect is currently incarcerated and/or check other investigative databases to attempt to find current whereabouts of the suspect prior to notification. VINEmay be introduced during a notification if the suspect is currently incarcerated on another crime.
Also, consider safety planning with survivors who have safety concerns. SAKI has created a Safety and Privacy Planning Guidespecifically for survivors of sexual assault.
Utah Victims’ Rights
In Utah, survivors and victims of sexual assault have certain rights (Utah Code Section 77-37 & 77-38). This postcard created by the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) provides survivors with information regarding their specific rights. Advocates can find more information on Utah Victims’ Rights here.
During a notification a survivor should be informed that they can formally request future notifications if and when the DNA recovered hits/matches a suspect or other cases.
Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic (UCVLC)
Many survivors feel overwhelmed by the potential of their case going to court. The Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic is a committed partner on SAKI cases. Their clinic provides free legal representation to crime victims throughout Utah. This brochurecan give additional information to survivors interested in UCVLC’s services.
Quickly Download all the attachments for the Victim Notification Resource Packet
An information line was created for survivors to find out if their sexual assault kit was a part of the backlog or the previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. Survivors will be asked basic information about their sexual assault case and the SAKI victim advocate will coordinate with the both the Utah State Crime Lab and the law enforcement agency involved.
Survivors who would NOT like further contact or information in regards to their sexual assault kit or case may contact the information line to Opt-Out of Notifications from local law enforcement agencies.
Utah is excited to announce the launch of a statewide Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System. The tracking system will be mandated for use starting July 1, 2018. Any survivor of sexual assault in the state of Utah will be able to track the status and location of their sexual assault kit real time, creating complete transparency for survivors. The tracking system is currently live Check it out!
The tracking system will also ensure that every sexual assault kit collect in Utah is sent for testing, unless the survivor specifically requests that their kit not be sent in for testing.