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The Promise Initiative for Survivors of Sexual Assault

In 2015, the Mobile Police Department applied for and received a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Grant from the U. S. Department of Justice. The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) funding supports the jurisdictional reform of approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have never been submitted to a crime laboratory.

Providing Justice for Victims

The reasons behind the backlog are complex. Un-submitted SAKs can be attributed to many factors, including poor evidence tracking, outdated and ineffective investigation practices, lack of resources and personnel, misunderstanding of crime lab case acceptance policies, and lack of understanding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.

The Mobile Police Department is working with the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office and Lifelines Counseling Services/The Rape Crisis Center to create victim–centered and trauma-informed policies and procedures to address the handling of sexual assault kits. Together, we have created The Promise Initiative that aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases through:

  • A comprehensive, victim-centered and trauma-informed approach
  • Capacity building to prevent high numbers of un-submitted SAKs in the future
  • Supporting the investigation and prosecution of cases for which SAKs were previously un-submitted

The Promise Initiative is critical to enhancing the criminal justice response to sexual assault and ensuring justice for victims. The Promise Initiative will not only help link victims to advocates and needed services, but also help implement best practices and comprehensive reform to help bring perpetrators to justice and increase safety in our community by preventing future sexual assaults.

Have An Untested Sexual Assault Kit?

If you would like more information on The Promise Initiative or feel that you may have an untested sexual assault kit at the Mobile Police Department, please call The Promise Initiative at (251) 431-5100 Ext. 226.