FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 8, 2019
Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484
Senate Approves Sexual Assault Kits Bill
MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the Wisconsin State Senate voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 200, introduced by Senator Cowles and others, which creates procedures for the collection and processing of sexual assault kits:
“This bill sets establishes timelines and protocols for nurses and members of law enforcement to prevent a future backlog of sexual assault kits, ensure a proper chain of evidence, preserving of these kits throughout the statute of limitations, and most importantly, provide certainty to sexual assault survivors seeking justice. Providing clarity and certainty to survivors with evidence collected from a sexual assault may help lead to more survivors seeking justice and may further lead to more successful investigations and prosecutions.”
In the first three months of 2019 alone, the Sexual Assault Center in Brown County, which is part of my district, served 434 people and helped 127 people during sexual assault nurse exams. Sexual assault is an issue that impacts all of our districts, and sexual assault is also a notoriously underreported crime. Providing clarity and certainty to survivors with evidence collected from a sexual assault may help lead to more survivors seeking justice and may further lead to more successful investigations and prosecutions.
“Senate Bill 200 ensures the properly handling of evidence by mimicking legislation already enacted in twenty other states. Senate Bill 200 is supported by groups representing law enforcement, health care professionals, and sexual assault survivor advocates. I look forward to assembly action on this legislation.”