U.S. Department of Justice: Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical and Advocacy Services for Tribes (FAST) Initiative
The Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical and Advocacy Services for Tribes (FAST) Initiative is a special initiative designed to increase the availability of trained Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) and trained sexual assault victim advocates in tribal communities, including Alaska Native villages. The FAST Initiative seeks to ensure that sexual assault victims in tribal communities where there are significant resource gaps have access to high quality post-sexual assault medical care from a trained SAFE, victim services, and other services they require to heal and achieve safety and justice.
FAST Initiative funding may be used to establish, sustain, and/or expand programs offering sexual assault medical forensic exams and sexual assault victim services in tribal communities. Funding priority will be given to applicants proposing innovative ways of bringing experienced SAFEs to remote tribal communities, such as traveling SAFEs, telemedicine, rural preceptorships, or other promising or entirely new approaches. Proposals designed to operate in a regional service model or otherwise provide services to multiple tribal communities are encouraged.
This initiative will also build tribal communities’ capacity to train, mentor, and retain SAFEs and advocates. Operational costs (including salaries and fringe benefits for program staff), training and mentoring for aspiring and current SAFEs and advocates, and equipment and supplies are costs that can be supported under this initiative. Furthermore, funding may be used to establish, sustain, and/or expand a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), including employing a SART Coordinator and financing collaborative projects undertaken by the SART. Finally, with appropriate justification, resources and training for individuals who are critical to improving victim access to SAFEs and advocates, but who themselves are not SAFEs or victim advocates, can also be a feature of a larger FAST project. Forensic interviewing is also an activity that can be supported by the FAST Initiative.
Amount: Approximately $7,000,000 is available to make at least four awards ranging from $500,000-$2,000,000 for a period of performance of 30 months.
Eligibility: State, local, and federally recognized tribal governments; agencies of state, local, or federally recognized tribal governments; nonprofit organizations; tribal organizations; entities whose principal purpose is to provide healthcare, such as hospitals, clinics, and health departments; and institutions of higher education.
Eligible applicants must demonstrate—directly or through partnerships—capacity in three areas:
- Provision of healthcare
- Provision of confidential victim services to survivors of sexual assault, such as through a nonprofit, community-based, and/or tribe-affiliated victim services provider
- Expertise working with tribal communities
If the lead applicant does not possess the requisite capacity in all three areas, the application must include a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or letters of commitment from project partners whose organizational expertise fulfills the capacity requirements.
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