Wisconsin Governor signs bill improving sexual assault kit process

Local News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new bill has been signed by Governor Tony Evers, a bill that will hopefully help survivors of sexual assault find justice.

Evers has signed the bipartisan bills establishing a first-ever process for collecting and tracking sexual assault evidence kits, proposals that stalled for years over partisan bickering despite widespread support among law enforcement agencies, victims’ advocates, and others across Wisconsin.

Evers’ signature of the measures Monday, December 6, drew praise from Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul and Republican lawmakers. Along with Kaul, multiple State Senators have both applauded Evers’ signing while also showing their support for survivors throughout the state.

State Senator Alberta Darling, who also authored said the bill, explains both how this bill will work and its importance. Senate Bill 94 is a way to empower sexual assault survivors by creating the ‘Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System.” This will create a database to update the locations and status of sexual assault kits throughout the state.

Darling explains the progress Wisconsin is making. Saying, “this is a bipartisan bill that empowers victims and will help prevent another backlog of cases.”

4th Assembly District State Representative David Steffen also released statements on the signing of this bill. Explaining that this process is long overdue for sexual assault survivors. Saying, “the least we can do is ensure that evidence of the assault is properly processed and stored, and is taken care of promptly.”

This bill completes a years-long struggle to create protocols in the law for processing and retaining the kits, which can provide integral evidence in sexual assault cases.

Evers says the new laws will increase transparency and accountability in the state’s testing process.

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