The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office Sexual Assault Kit Task Force takes seriously its mission to seek justice for victims of sexual assault and to keep the community safe. The members of the Task Force understand that there is a significant impact on the victims who are contacted by our Investigators regarding the results of a previously untested rape kit.
Victim Advocates work side-by-side with Investigators and Prosecutors to support victims throughout the judicial process. Our Victim Advocates have collective expertise in the areas of criminal justice, social work, mental health, and supporting victims of sexual assault. They support victims during scheduled meetings with Investigators and Prosecutors, provide support at court proceedings, keep victims informed and involved with their cases, and provide referrals for additional assistance as needed.
We currently have four Victim Advocates who work full-time with the Task Force, and Prosecutor McGinty frequently has said that they play a vital role in the success of the initiative by supporting survivors of sexual assault and strengthening cases. Others recognize the importance of supporting victims, too, as indicated by the fact that the $2 million grant our Sexual Assault Kit Task Force received from the U.S. Department of Justice included money to hire an additional advocate.
But our commitment to survivors extends beyond the end of a criminal trial or investigation. The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
is another vital partner in the Task Force. They offer free individual and group counseling services to support victims of sexual assault.