May 10, 2018
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced the launch of his office’s newly created sexual assault website. The new website, endnevadasbacklog.ag.nv.gov, results from a sexual assault kit testing initiative lead by AG Laxalt that began in March 2015.
In an effort to address Nevada’s backlog of nearly 8,000 untested sexual assault kits, AG Laxalt formed Nevada’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group to develop strategies and best practices associated with the State’s backlog. The Working Group is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of representatives from law enforcement, district attorneys’ offices, crime labs, sexual assault nurse examiners, victim advocates, victim service providers, the University of Nevada and Nevada’s Legislature. Collectively, they work to address policy matters associated with testing kits for local governments including: testing of sexual assault kits collected in connection with a crime; victim notification; statewide training; resources for victims; following up on investigative leads; identifying subjects; prosecuting cases associated with these kits; collecting data for academic research; and identifying national best practices, statewide resources, processes and legislation to prevent future backlogs. One of the goals of the Working Group is also to ensure that victims and survivors of sexual crimes are provided with a website housing information and resources tailored to their needs.
“Nevada’s sexual assault initiative was designed with survivors in mind, and goes beyond testing kits,” said AG Laxalt. “At its core, this initiative is centered around making a meaningful difference in the lives of our survivors, and providing them with reassurance that the State of Nevada and local agencies are here to seek justice on their behalf. This website serves as a clearinghouse for those in need of information and resources, and as a means of fulfilling our commitment to take a victim-centered approach to justice. I hope this website will empower our survivors and connect them with support services that will ensure they receive quality and compassionate care.”
The homepage of the website houses statistical information tracking the progress of Nevada’s sexual assault kit testing initiative, including the most current numbers on how many backlogged kits have been sent to labs for testing, have completed testing, have resulted in DNA matches, and have culminated in arrests. Also on the homepage, users can click on the “Get Help” tab to obtain information on how to report a sexual assault, what they can expect from a medical examination, where they can obtain an examination, and more. The website was designed with the needs of survivors in mind, and includes an “Escape Site” tab giving users a quick and disguised exit from the website.
Other featured tabs include information on Nevada’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits, a demonstration of how sexual assault kits are used to collect DNA samples for testing, and information on the goals and objectives of Nevada’s statewide Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group. The website also includes a “Resources” tab, guiding users through information and accompanying websites for all of Nevada’s law enforcement agencies, as well as national, statewide and local resources available to survivors of sexual crimes. Additional information can be found on the website regarding what constitutes sexual assault, the timeline for making reports with local law enforcement, information on rights victims of crime are entitled to, and related legislation and reports.
To view the website, visit endnevadasbacklog.ag.nv.gov . The website can also be accessed through the Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s main website at ag.nv.gov. Contact Monica Moazez at MMoazez@ag.nv.gov or 702-486-0657 to schedule an on camera or telephone interview with AG Laxalt.