U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

SAKI Media Relations: Key Considerations for Partnering with the Media

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2017
3 pages
This training and technical assistance resource for grantees of the federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) - which involves implementation of a model to reduce backlogs of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) in local and state jurisdictions - discusses key considerations for grantees in partnering with the media in their jurisdictions to further the goals of SAKI.
Under the SAKI model, the media are viewed as having an important role in the SAKI effort, as it brings public awareness of the importance of and progress in this effort to improve public safety and bring justice to victims. Although media members may ask uncomfortable questions related to why there is a backlog of SAKs untested by a crime lab, it is important to acknowledge that mistakes were made and the problem has been thoroughly analyzed in the development and implementation of remedies to the SAK backlog. This openness with the media about the problem sets the stage for an ongoing interaction with the media in reporting progress and successes through SAKI efforts. The media will be the conduit to the public for information on the background, process, and time frames for implementing SAKI, presenting statistics related to the reduction in the backlog of untested SAKs, and providing notifications of arrests made due to backlog SAK testing. Other media-related topics suggested are the profiling of the agency's victim advocate/special victims' detective, highlighting of the survivor notification process, noting changes in policies, discussing national or specialized training for the SAKI effort, and demonstrating tracking systems/CODIS used in offender identification.