If you were the victim of a sexual assault and had a sexual assault exam performed by a medical professional, you can check the testing status and ask questions at any time by reaching out to the responding law enforcement agency, or the Delaware Victims Center at 1-800-VICTIM1. Both options are confidential and do not require additional participation with the criminal justice system.
You can also reach the voicemail box for Delaware SAKI at 302-577-8729.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2018-AK-BX-0018 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions on this page are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
From 2015 to 2022, 76 SAKI grantees have received funding. SAKI sites, both currently and previously funded, represent approximately 57% of the U.S. population (331.5 million). Because the SAKI program has expanded to include multiple purpose areas, SAKI grantees have been able to receive additional funding to expand their SAKI programs to include these additional areas of focus, such as prosecuting sexual assaults and pursuing lawfully owed DNA, to create a comprehensive response to sexual assault. Each SAKI site has its own webpage on the official SAKI website and includes additional information about the site and how SAKI funds are being used.
SAKI is critical to enhancing the criminal justice response to sexual assault and ensuring justice for victims. SAKI funding will not only help link victims to advocates and needed services, but also help jurisdictions implement best practices and comprehensive reform to help bring perpetrators to justice and increase safety in communities by preventing future sexual assaults.
There is currently no reliable estimate for the number of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have not been submitted to a crime laboratory; however, the reasons behind the backlog are complex. Unsubmitted SAKs can be attributed to many factors, including poor evidence tracking, outdated and ineffective investigation practices, lack of resources and personnel, misunderstanding of crime lab case acceptance policies, and lack of understanding among law enforcement personnel about the value of testing SAKs. Resolving these issues is critical to providing justice for victims and preventing such a backlog in the future.
As of April 2022, SAKI sites have reported:
On June 25, 2015, the General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR 1). This resolution called for every law enforcement agency to report to the Attorney General’s Office the number of untested sexual assault kits. The report provided us with a count of 1,033 untested sexual assault kits that were in the evidence storage facilities of our police agencies, hereby referred to as the backlog.
The Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC) applied for a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to address the backlog, and was awarded a three-year, $1,168,662.00 SAKI grant in September of 2015.
The goal of this grant program was to address the growing number of unsubmitted SAKs in law enforcement custody, and to help provide resolution for victims when possible. There is broad consensus that this must be accomplished through a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach. Grant funding was used to inventory the existing numbers of untested SAKs, test these kits at accredited laboratories, pursue investigative leads and potential prosecution, and ensure that support is provided throughout the process.
Delaware formed a multi-disciplinary steering committee and three sub-committees (Law Enforcement, SANE and Victims Services) to provide direction and to address the issues outlined in the federal grant application. These committees met and communicated regularly throughout the grant funding term, and are encouraged to build sustainability around SAKI’s mission and accomplishments.
Every Delaware law enforcement agency with untested kits collected prior to 2019 has been visited and inventoried, and relevant case information has been documented.
All victims of sexual assault can receive support and information at any time by reaching out to one or more of the organizations listed below. Delawareans can also refer to the Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence (DAASV) website for additional no-cost survivor resources.
Please note that the Delaware Victims Center is the only organization that can follow up directly on the status of a sexual assault kit.
The Victim Service Section of the Delaware State Police has the following goals:
Other Services Available
When you call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
How can the hotline help you?
Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including:
The YWCA SARC provides comprehensive, free, confidential rape crisis services to sexual assault survivors aged 12 and older, and their non-offending family members, friends, and partners throughout the State of Delaware. SARC is committed to providing healing, hope and empowerment to individuals whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence whether the assault happened yesterday or many years ago.
Sexual Assault Response Advocates are available to assist survivors in need of medical, police and legal accompaniment, supportive telephone counseling, aftercare follow-up services, as well as information and referral to vital community services.
Contact #: 1-800-262-9800
ContactLifeline is a non-profit organization that provides:
Online training videos, webinars, presentation materials, documents and guides were updated by the Delaware SAKI program in 2022. These resources have been broken down into lists geared towards law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, and victim advocates; they are available for download in PDF format below. Note that these resources are intended to be valuable to anyone working on SAKI-related efforts in Delaware and nationwide, and for sexual assault or trauma-informed investigations in general.
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