If you had a Sexual Assault Kit collected and would like further information, please contact the original investigative agency, Delaware Victims Center at 1-800-VICTIM1 or the Delaware SAKI Coordinator at (302) 577-8717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC) applied and was awarded a grant from The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to address the backlog of Untested Sexual Assault Kits. The CJC was awarded a three year, $1,168,662.00 SAKI Grant to address the backlog in September of 2015.
“The goal of this grant program is 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 approach to the problem. Grant funding will be used to inventory the existing numbers of untested SAKs, test these kits, and pursue new investigative leads and potential prosecution, and ensure that support is provided throughout the investigation and prosecution process. The CJC will also work to create or improve an evidence-tracking system, provide training on sexual assault investigations, and increase the collection of offender DNA for CODIS upload purposes. This may lead to the identification of potential suspects and even serial sex offenders. We will also work to help create policies, procedures, and possibly legislation, to ensure that we eliminate any future backlog of sexual assault kits in Delaware.
The Delaware SAKI Site Coordinator is Michael Kelly. Michael has served the majority of his career in law enforcement retiring from the New Castle County Police after 20 years of service spending the majority of his career working in Detectives with victims of sexual and physical abuse.
Delaware has 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. Every department in the state with untested kits has been visited, inventoried, and relevant case information has been recorded into our database. The Bureau of Justice Assistance has certified Delaware’s list of Untested Sexual Assault Kits and the testing process of those kits with a contracted outside laboratory is underway. All of Delaware’s untested kits that require testing have been submitted and we are currently reviewing each case for potential prosecution. We have created policies and procedures, we’re meeting with victims, and arrest are pending.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact the SAKI Site Coordinator at 302 577-8717 or email at email@example.com
Do you offer training in reference to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)?
Yes, training is outlined in the policy and procedure manual. We are also offering a statewide training to all of our partners on September 19-20, 2018.
What will happen next?
Once the kit is tested a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Law Enforcement, Deputy Attorney General and Victims Services will review all of the facts of the case to determine if there is enough information to move forward with reopening the case. If there is, Victim Services and Law Enforcement Investigator will meet with the survivor to see if they wish to engage in the process to reopen the case. We are victim driven working at their pace so they can take time to process everything and to seek support from loved ones and local sexual assault victim advocates who can help them make an informed choice.
After the initial meeting and notification the investigator assigned to the case and the Police Based Victim Assistant/Specialist will follow up to talk about the next steps. This could include a meeting with the Department of Justice to speak with the Prosecutor and the Victim/Witness Social Worker.
What if you do not want to participate?
A survivor has the right to decline to speak with Victim Advocates and Law Enforcement Investigators, however, choice to prosecute or not is solely up to the prosecutor.
Will there be a trial?
Many factors go into the decision to prosecute an offender and even cases that are prosecuted do not always end up in a trial. For example, there won’t be a trial if the identified offender is deceased or in the case of a plea agreement. Survivors have the right to voice an opinion about a plea agreement and should be kept informed about the progress of their case by the prosecutor’s staff.
What rights do survivors have?
Survivors have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect; to privacy and confidentiality; to be informed; to be heard and to participate in the criminal justice process; to timely disposition of the case; to notice about the status of the case; and to apply for compensation.
Survivors have a right to ask about the status of their case and the results of the Sexual Assault Kit.
Please see the Delaware Victims Bill of Rights
Is there assistance available for a case update, counseling or other related financial costs?
Delaware has a crime victim compensation fund designed to reimburse crime victims for some of the costs resulting from criminal victimization. Information is available by contacting the Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program at 302-255-1770.
We encourage those who have ever had a sexual assault kit collected and would like more information such as status of their case or to be connected to the correct department to please contact the Delaware Victims Center at 1-800-VICTIM1 (1 800 842-8461), the specific Police Departments Victim Services Unit, or the Department of Justice at 302 577- 8917
You can also call 302 577-8717 or send an email to the Delaware SAKI Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All victims of Sexual Assault can receive support and information by calling the following Rape Crisis Hotlines 24/7: New Castle and Sussex County YWCA SARC 1-800-773-5870, Kent and Sussex County call the ContactLifeline Rape Crisis at 1-800-262-9800 can help with questions and the application process as well.
Contact #: 1 302-761-9100
The 24/7 Crisis Helpline for Delaware receives calls regarding many levels of crisis, from asking for information and referral, to discussing daily struggles, to processing suicidal thoughts. They define a crisis as any moment that is overwhelming for the individual who is calling. No crisis is too small.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of a sexual assault, regardless of whether it just happened or happened many years ago, they offer the following assistance:
- Telephone counseling
- Information and referral
- In-person support and advocacy at hospitals, police stations, and courts
- Individual counseling for survivors, friends and family
Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC)
Contact #: 1-800-773-8570
The Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC) provides comprehensive, free and 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.
For 24/7 assistance and information on your options, call their rape crisis hotline at (800) 773-8570 to speak with a Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA). SARA’s 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.
Delaware Victims Center
Contact #: 1-800-842-8461
Goals of Victim Services
- Provide short and long term crisis intervention
- Act as an information and referral source
- Reduce the trauma to victims, witnesses and survivors
- Eliminate additional trauma
- Coordinate resources through a single agency
- Increase positive interaction between victims/witnesses, survivors and law enforcement
- Provide a smoother transition into the criminal justice system in cases where an arrest
- Guarantee services in those cases where an arrest has not been made
Services Available at No Cost
- 24 hour emergency crisis intervention
- Information and referrals for appropriate social service agencies
- Court accompaniment
- Follow up contacts, calls, letters and/or home visits
- Assistance with filing for emergency financial assistance
- Landlord/Employer intervention
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Contact #: 1-800-656-4673
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:
- Confidential support from a trained staff member
- Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like sexual assault forensic exams
- Someone to help you talk through what happened
- Local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery
- Referrals for long term support in your area
- Information about the laws in your community
- Basic information about medical concerns
Visit the CJC on Twitter (@Delaware_CJC) Search our Twitter hashtag: #DelawareSAKI
Delaware SAKI Brochure
Delaware SAKI What Happens Next Handbill
Delaware SAKI Policy Manual
For more information about the national initiative, please visit https://www.sakitta.org/ and http://www.endthebacklog.org/
Delaware SAKI Initiative Media Coverage