The role of the advocate is crucial to the SAKI project. Since many of the previously untested sexual assault kits that will be tested through this project are several years old, advocates are integral to ensuring that the victim’s feelings and wishes are taken into consideration throughout the entire SAKI process. Advocates are trained to look for signs of trauma or crisis and can help provide support and resources for the victim through the various steps of the criminal justice system.
Advocacy and law enforcement will work together to facilitate victim notification. Advocates can also be present for any subsequent meetings with law enforcement. Advocates should be familiar with SAKI as they are likely to receive questions about the process. A list of FAQ has been developed to help provide information about the process to assist with questions advocates may receive.
Have you explored the SAKI Virtual Academy https://academy.sakitta.org/ section of the national SAKI site? You will find online trainings and resources to help improve your jurisdictions' capacity to investigate, prosecute, and provide trauma-informed victim services and advocacy.
For more information about victim notification, the Joyful Heart Foundation has developed a report called Navigating Notification.