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Mayor Keller, Albuquerque Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Unveil New Resource to Help Victims of Sexual Assault

Mayor Keller and the Albuquerque Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners reveal the Sexual Assault Information Line

Albuquerque, N.M–On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Mayor Keller and the Albuquerque Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) announced the Sexual Assault Information Line, SAIL, a resource that will help victims of sexual assault retain information regarding their pending cases. The new information line is part of the administration's plan to eliminate the backlog of more than 4,000 untested sexual assault evidence kits (commonly called “rape kits”). Survivors who would like to know the status of their case can now call 1-866-613-SAIL (7245) or e-mail [email protected].

“With SAIL survivors will be able to proactively reach out to gather information about the status of their kits and will also be able to speak with professional staff to answer any questions they may have,” said Mayor Keller. “This is just one step in the process of ending the backlog and to support survivors of sexual assault.”

One of the first actions Mayor Keller took upon entering office was to issue an executive order for the Albuquerque Police Department to work with the Albuquerque Sexual Assault Evidence Response Team (ASERT) to develop a comprehensive plan to address the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits. SAIL is a result of ASERT’s work and is part of the comprehensive plan to ensure survivors of sexual assault have the resources they need. Albuquerque SANE will be the lead in managing the information line and will work closely with the Mayor’s Office and ASERT. The announcement comes during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

 “SAIL will give us a better sense of what victims need to know and how we can make this process easier for survivors,” said Albuquerque Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) Board President Jennifer Brower. “Albuquerque will be helping the rest of the state with the implementation of this SAIL.”

The Mayor’s proposed budget allocates $1 million in continued funding of early intervention and prevention programs, domestic violence shelters, domestic violence services, sexual assault services and services to abused, neglected and abandoned youth.

Mayor Keller and his administration, including Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair, have worked throughout their public service careers with sexual assault survivor advocates to address this public safety issue. As former state auditor, Keller conducted the first statewide audit of the backlog that identified over 5,000 untested kits across the state, 75% of which were in Albuquerque. While rape kit backlogs are a problem across the nation, New Mexico has the highest number of untested kits per capita.

ASERT’s full plan to clear the untested sexual assault evidence kits backlog, commonly known as the rape kit backlog is available here.