Edelen, KASAP to host one of 14 stakeholders meetings in Prestonsburg

FRANKFORT – Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs are hosting a series of stakeholder meetings across the Commonwealth this summer to talk about the untested sexual assault kit crisis. The 14 meetings are part of an examination by the Auditor’s office that seeks to count the number of untested sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE) kits that are in the possession of local law enforcement. The Auditor also plans to make recommendations for reforming how evidence in cases of sexual violence is handled in the future. A meeting will be held at Mountain Comprehensive Care Center’s Healing Program for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence on 104 S. Front Street in Prestonsburg at 11 a.m. on July 14.

“These meetings are an important part of our examination of the complex issues surrounding untested rape kits,” Edelen said. “I hope to hear from law enforcement, prosecutors, survivors and others as we begin working toward recommending reforms to the system.”

Edelen wants to talk to survivors, victims’ advocates, nurses, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and others who are involved in sexual assault investigations and gather testimony about the issues and challenges they face.

The Auditor’s office is focused on issues such as how kits are logged, tracked and stored, how decisions to test kits are made, whether victims are notified of the status of their kits and whether law enforcement have sufficient policies, procedures and training to handle kits and deal with victims.

Survivors, victims’ advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors and others who are involved in sexual assault investigations are invited to attend the meetings to voice their concerns and experiences. Due to the sen

sitive nature of these issues, those who would prefer to share their concerns with the Auditor privately may request time in advance of the meetings to do so.

Alternately, individuals may share their stories, concerns and opinions via email at stephenie.hoelscher@ky.gov. Confidentiality may be requested.

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