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The United States Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General | Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks Announcing $41 Million Justice Department Grant Initiative to Address National Backlog of Untested Sexual Assault Kits

(09/10/2015) The groundbreaking initiative we’re announcing today is part of the Justice Department’s longstanding efforts to support survivors of sexual violence and to bring abusers to justice. Since 2008, the National Institute of Justice has provided more than $825 million—more than $100 million per year—in grants to fund DNA analysis and forensic research, including the testing of sexual assault kits backlogged at crime labs. We have expanded support for populations that have an elevated risk of assault, like American Indian and Alaska Native populations, through the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner–Sexual Assault Response Team Initiative. And just last week, the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women announced the release of a new $2.8 million funding opportunity as part of OVW’s Sexual Assault Justice Initiative, a program designed to improve how the justice system handles sexual assault cases. That funding will provide approximately eight pilot sites with up to $400,000 per site to strengthen the prosecution of sexual assault and promote justice for victims. Collectively, the Justice Department’s wide-ranging work—through offices like the National Institute of Justice, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Office of Justice Programs and the Office on Violence Against Women—demonstrates our steadfast commitment to ensuring that sexual assault cases are thoroughly investigated; that victims are properly supported; and that perpetrators are promptly held accountable.

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