Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
April 20, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Attorney General Pam Bondi is highlighting progress in efforts to eliminate the state’s backlog of unprocessed sexual assault kits. The latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report shows 2,963 kits tested in just nine months. These tests have produced 681 matches in the Combined DNA Index System.
“The trauma of a sexual assault can haunt a victim their entire life, especially if the predator is never caught. That is why this Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, I am highlighting the great progress being made to test the state’s unprocessed sexual assault kits. Testing these kits has produced hundreds of matches in DNA databases that can be used by law enforcement to track down suspects and hopefully solve crimes,” said Attorney General Bondi.
In 2015, Attorney General Bondi formally called for the testing of Florida’s previously unprocessed sexual assault kits. A few months later, a statewide assessment by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified a backlog of unprocessed kits statewide.
In 2016, Attorney General Bondi worked with law enforcement, lawmakers and victim advocates to secure millions of dollars in funding to help eliminate the backlog. Testing began in July of that year. With nearly 3,000 kits processed, the state is on track to meet its goal of testing all 8,600 unprocessed kits by June of 2019.
To view FDLE’s most recent Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report, click here.
Attorney General Bondi is committed to seeking justice for victims and ensuring that victims receive the services they need, including counseling. Attorney General Bondi’s Division of Victim Services not only advocates for crime victims and victims' rights, it also administers a compensation program ensuring financial assistance for innocent victims of crime. Victims wishing to apply for assistance, check on the status of their applications or in need of any other assistance can contact the Division of Victim Services by calling the toll-free number (800) 226-6667 or (850) 414-3300.
Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to call local law enforcement. They can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE. Help is free, confidential and available 24/7.