California Attorney General, Rob Bonta announced the selection today of PSR alumnx Dr. Sarai Crain (MTS ’06) as the state’s first-ever sexual assault evidence outreach coordinator. The appointment is part of a larger initiative that includes the launch of a new online portal that will allow survivors of sexual assault to track the status of their evidence kits – a result of Senate Bill 215, passed in 2021.
In her new position, Dr. Crain will work directly with law enforcement, medical facilities, and other partner organizations to support local efforts to track and process sexual assault evidence, remove barriers to testing, and promote awareness of public resources. According to the press release from Bonta’s office, “Together, these new initiatives aim to clear the backlog of sexual assault evidence at the local level, ensure timely processing of sexual assault evidence, and increase transparency and access to information for survivors.”
“The creation of a position dedicated to addressing the rape kit backlog not only signals to survivors that they matter, but raises the bar for what states are willing to do to end this crisis forever. We wholeheartedly hope that all states will take note, and follow suit. In addition to this groundbreaking position, we applaud Attorney General Bonta for the launch of a victim portal to the existing rape kit tracking system. Studies have shown that granting survivors access to the status of their cases can promote healing and counter the loss of self-determination that they often experience as the result of these crimes,” said Ilse Knecht, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Joyful Heart Foundation.
Previous to this position, Dr. Crain served as the Deputy Chief for the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention where she developed a citywide strategic plan for gender-based violence prevention and intervention programs. She also served as the Executive Director of Bay Area Women Against Rape, the nation’s oldest rape crisis center from 2016-20.
In addition to her Master of Theological Studies from PSR, Dr. Crain earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.