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Wisconsin launches statewide sexual assault kit tracking system for victims

Rape Kit Backlog
Posted at 12:28 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 13:28:00-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — On Thursday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the launch of “track-kit”, a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system. In an effort to prevent future backlog of untested sexual assault kits, the new system will allow survivors of sexual assault to track the status of their kit as it is being processed.

The system will maintain a timeline of a kit's history, from the medical facility, to the law enforcement agency, to the crime laboratory, with the length of time spent at each location documented. It operates on a bar code system so that no personally identifiable information from the victim will be stored in the system.

At the time of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Exam, the nurse will provide assault survivors with their barcode and a temporary password. With that log-in information, they can look up their kit’s location, ensuring that survivors can easily check to make sure their kit has been sent to the crime lab for testing.

"They will be able to see when the kit goes from the hospital, to law enforcement, to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for testing, and back to the law enforcement agency when the testing is complete," said Holly Fisher, the director of the Sexual Assault Center of Family Services in Green Bay.

Advocates for survivors of sexual assault say this new testing kit tracking system empowers survivors by allowing them to access information about their kit at anytime and make sure it’s being processed. It's the first time survivors will be able to anonymously access that information, whereas previously victims would have to call the law enforcement agency or state crime lab to learn where their kit was.

“It is very empowering for victims, it gives them a back a sense of a little bit of control over the situation. They will know exactly where the location of the kits will be and where it is in the process," Fisher said.