April 19, 2017
Madison, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced, as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), that the Wisconsin Department of Justice will award $920,000 for sexual assault victim support services. The money will be awarded through a competitive grant process to sexual assault service providers in each of the ten Wisconsin counties with the highest number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
“In addition to direct support for victims, the grant funds will provide training to law enforcement, prosecutors and hospitals in these counties,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “This is critical to ensuring unsubmitted sexual assault kits never again accumulate in local law enforcement agencies or hospitals in Wisconsin.”
Service providers receiving the awards will use the money to:
- Engage in victim-centered notification, communication, and support activities related to previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
- Provide direct services to past and current victims of sexual assault.
- Provide cross-training to multidisciplinary partners on the new forms and procedures available to victims seeking a medical forensic examination on trauma impact for victims.
- Provide updates and information to their community’s sexual assault response team on issues related to the testing of unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
- Work with their community’s sexual assault response team to implement evidence-based, victim-centered protocols that address sexual assault kit collection, testing, and victim accompaniment during interviews and hospital exams.
- Collect and report data on victim notification efforts.
“Sexual assault survivors deserve trauma-informed care and services,” said Pennie Meyers, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA). “This money will help local sexual assault service providers deliver these vital services to survivors.”
The ten counties with the highest number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits are Brown, Dane, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Racine, Rock, Sauk, and Winnebago.
Those eligible to apply include sexual assault service providers (SASP) as recognized by WCASA or funded to provide direct sexual assault services by a Violence Against Women Act, Sexual Assault Victim Services and/or Victims of Crime Act grant through the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of Crime Victim Services. Interested providers can apply at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/grants/grants.
If there is more than one SASP in the county, programs are encouraged to collaborate and share in the work of the proposed project as well as the funding requested.
The $920,000 is made available through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.