DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — For victims of sexual assault, there are only a few places in Alabama that can perform a rape kit and collect D.N.A. evidence hours after an assault.
According to Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, the Circle City is one step closer to making those kits available closer to home.
Saliba said the city of Dothan plans to meet with non-profits this week to discuss plans for a stand-alone entity that would help collect DNA evidence for victims of sexual assault.
On top of conducting and collecting this vital evidence, which is crucial for prosecution, Saliba said the program would also help offer help and counseling.
As of now, both Southeast Health and Flowers Hospitals are equipped with DNA kits for victims of sexual assault, until a permanent solution is put into place.
Saliba said the new stand-alone type center could be made up of several local agencies, to provide the best care for people who are victims of sexual assault.
“A terrible incident, and we don’t want them to have to somewhere else,” Saliba said. “We would rather be able to take care of them here, if at all possible.”
There are only about five centers in Alabama that provide these resources to victims of sexual assaults.
Saliba also tells WDHN News it’s the goal of the city to be able to provide these crucial resources at local hospitals, not only temporarily, but permanently, and provide long-term care for sexual assault victims.