Story at a glance

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed two bills into law on Monday.
  • The state hopes the new law will prevent a future rape kit backlog.
  • The law establishes a set procedure for collecting and submitting sexual assault kits to laboratories for testing, as well as creating a tracking system survivors can access.

A Wisconsin law went into effect on Monday that the state hopes will prevent a future rape kit backlog.

Wisconsin cleared its recent rape kit backlog in 2019. However, the two bills, signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers (D), establish a set procedure for collecting and submitting sexual assault kits to laboratories for testing, as well as creating a tracking system survivors can access to see the progress being made on their kits.

“I am proud to sign these bills today, increasing transparency and accountability in the state’s testing process for sexual assault kits to help prevent future delays in justice for victims while empowering survivors with resources to track their kits directly,” Evers said in a press release.


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The new law states that after the health care professionals collect evidence for the kits, the survivor can then decide whether or not they want to report the assault to law enforcement. 

If the survivor reports the assault, law enforcement has 72 hours to retrieve the kit and 14 days to have it brought to a state crime laboratory for analysis. In the event the survivor decides not to report the assault, the kit must be stored for 10 years and can be tested at any point if the survivor decides to report it at a later date.

The hope is that the established system will aid in streamlining the testing process in a timely fashion and offer better-maintained storage procedures.

“Victims and survivors of sexual assault have already gone through the unimaginable,” Evers said, “and their path to justice should never be obstructed or delayed.”


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Published on Dec 07, 2021