Resources for Survivors
You are not in this alone. The resources below offer a variety of programs are available to serve your wishes and needs. A variety of resources are available for you:
Frequently Asked Questions: The DANY Grant Task Force has developed an FAQ to help guide survivors through the backlog process.
Legal System Guidebook for Victims: The Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney has developed a helpful guidebook for victims to help them understand their rights and the legal process in Kentucky. It also includes a glossary of legal terms.
KASAP: The organization that oversees all sexual assault crisis centers in Kentucky. You may have already been connected with a sexual assault crisis center advocate. For more information, call KASAP at 502-226-2704 or visit www.kasap.org. A 24 hour hotline is available at 800-656-HOPE. KASAP can direct you to your local program for support.
Office of Victims Advocacy, Office of the Attorney General: The office can provide information on crime victims rights and resources that may assist you. www.ag.ky.gov/Family/Victims
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE): Information regarding offender incarceration status can be found on VINE’s website and mobile app. You may register to receive email or telephone notifications regarding a change in the offender’s status. To register, go to www.appriss.com/vine.html, download the mobile app, VINEMobile, for free on a smartphone, or call 1-800-511-1670.
If you are a victim or know someone who is a victim, help is available. Victims of any type of sexual assault which occurred recently or long ago, including rape, sodomy, child sexual abuse (available at some centers), incest, and sexual harassment are able to get help.
There are 13 rape crisis centers providing services to all survivors, including college students (even if their home is outside of Kentucky). See the map below to find your local rape crisis center.
Services are free of charge but some long-term services may charge based on a sliding scale. There's assistance to both female and male victims, as well as family members and friends close to victims of any type of sexual assault.
Information for Survivors
If you have been contacted because we have received results from analysis of your Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kit, our highest priority is to ease this process for you.
Sudden notice of your kit results may come as a shock — it is normal for information of this kind to bring a mixture of emotions to the surface.
Our highest priority is to ease this process for you. We respect whatever wishes you have regarding your desires to be notified of any changes in your case.
You may have questions about why your kit is being tested at this time, Kentucky's backlog, the testing process and possible legal scenarios. We've created a FAQ to attempt to answer any questions that may arise. The Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney has created a helpful guidebook for victims that explains their rights, the court system in Kentucky and a glossary of legal terms.
Your courage to report and undergo a sexual assault forensic exam is invaluable. We recognize the difficulties in doing so and you deserve to have your kit processed. We commend you for your bravery in helping fight back against sex crimes in Kentucky.
We sincerely apologize for delayed testing of your kit.
Your kit is extremely important in identifying offenders and may help others stay safe from sexual predators. Every kit brings us closer to protecting Kentuckians from sexual victimization and punishing sexual offenders.
We recognize the profound hardships in collection of sexual assault evidence. Throughout our conversations with you and this information packet, you will hear us refer to the collection of evidence as a kit. This is not to be insensitive or dismissive of your experience. Your kit is more than just evidence collection—it also represents the trauma and pain that you endured.
The terms survivor and victim are used interchangeably on this site and you may hear them used in the same manner by professionals. We recognize that it is up to the person to decide with which term they identify, if either. If you have a preference, please feel free to express it to whom you are working.
Kentucky has enacted a new law, known as the SAFE Act, regarding forensic testing of past, present, and future SAFE kits. The new law requires that all reported kits be submitted and tested.
Key elements of the SAFE Act:
When a survivor consents to making a report and releasing the kit to police, hospitals shall report a kit to law enforcement within 24 hours. The survivor still has a choice as to whether he or she would like to go forward with prosecution.
Law enforcement shall retrieve the kit from hospitals within 5 days of being notified by the hospital
Law enforcement must submit the kit to the Kentucky State Police Lab for testing within 30 days
The Lab shall test all kits and it must reduce the average time for testing kits to 90 days by 2018 and 60 days by 2020.
Restoring System Failures
Regional Rape Crisis Centers
To best serve you, both community- and law enforcement-based agencies are involved in this process:
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP)
KASAP is the coalition of sexual assault crisis centers (commonly referred to as “rape crisis centers”) in Kentucky. The mission of KASAP is to speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization.
Sexual assault crisis centers staff victim advocates who specialize in working with survivors of sexual assault. Advocates serve as an initial contact person for you during this process.
Sexual assault crisis centers provide a variety of support services including accompaniment to court and other legal meetings, counseling, and more.
Law Enforcement and Local Police
As results from your kit come back, those results may further their investigative efforts.
The law enforcement investigator assigned to your case will directly contact you regarding the status of your kit and progress of their investigation.
Local law enforcement investigators assigned to your case serve as an initial contact person for you during this process.
Office of the Attorney General
The Attorney General’s Office provides assistance and support to law enforcement, victim advocates and survivors during this process.
Commonwealth's Attorneys (Prosecutors)
When investigation leads to a criminal charge against a suspect, the case moves forward to be prosecuted.
Commonwealth's Attorneys in your jurisdiction prosecute the crime, seeking a conviction.
Most prosecutors’ offices staff victim advocates to help victims throughout the criminal justice process.
Children’s Advocacy Centers
Cases involving a minor may be handled through a children’s advocacy center.
Children’s advocacy centers are staffed with specially trained professionals for working with children who are victims of sexual assault. They work in collaboration with other professionals listed above and would serve as a contact to you.
The map below shows the sexual assault crisis centers and their contact information for Kentucky's 120 counties.