Home » Kentucky law enforcement get $2.5M federal grant to improve sexual assault test kit training

Kentucky law enforcement get $2.5M federal grant to improve sexual assault test kit training

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Justice grant has been awarded to Kentucky to further assist law enforcement in bringing justice to victims of sexual assault. This year’s funding is the second-largest award in the history of the commonwealth from the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The governor and First Lady Britainy Beshear were joined by survivors and advocates at the state Capitol to proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kentucky.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, ZeroV CEO Angela Yannelli, OASIS Executive Director Andrea Robinson and Sen. Whitney Westerfield of Fruit Hill joined the governor and first lady for the signing of the proclamation.

“This month, and every month, let’s lead with the strength and bravery survivors show daily and take intentional steps to end domestic violence in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “From providing survivors and their families with the resources they need to rebuild their lives to tackling the root issues of violence in our communities, I am going to keep fighting for the inches that become the miles of progress until we reach our goal of building a safer Kentucky.”

The First Lady thanked the sexual assault survivors in attendance for their courage and recognized that in Kentucky, more than 45% of women and 35% of men experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

“As First Lady, and as a mom to two great kids, one of my primary goals is to make our commonwealth a safer place for all our families,” Mrs. Beshear said. “I am proud to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month by honoring our survivors, raising awareness and showing appreciation for the dedicated Kentuckians working hard to end domestic violence in Kentucky.”

The new $2.5 million U.S. Department of Justice grant announced today will allow the Kentucky State Police (KSP) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) investigative team, formed in July 2021, to enhance its critical work by hiring additional personnel dedicated to testing sexual assault kits and improving sexual assault data collection to better identify predators. Funding will also be provided to the Louisville Metro Police Department to hire personnel to assist KSP with testing and for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center to perform a study of sexual assault kit data.

On Aug. 28, the KSP SAKI investigative team, in conjunction with state and local partners, announced it achieved a significant breakthrough in a series of sexual assault cases that occurred in 2005. Last year, Gov. Beshear and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced an additional $849,491 in federal grant funding had been awarded to KSP to hire a new investigator with the SAKI investigative team to focus on investigating and identifying sexual assault offenders in Jefferson County.

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