State Looking To Decrease Untested Sexual Assault Evidence Backlog

Public Awareness Campaign Aims To Prioritize Victim’s Wishes

Sexual assault evidence kit
Pat Sullivan/AP Photo

The Wisconsin Department of Justice and victim advocates are launching an online outreach campaign next week to help with the state’s backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits.

The state is looking to make headway on a backlog of untested sexual assault kits. There were nearly 6,300 untested kits across the state as of 2014, according to the Capital Times.

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault and local law enforcement agencies are partnering to launch the campaign. They will try to connect sexual assault survivors with their untested kits to determine whether they want the evidence tested. If the victim does not want it tested, the kit will be removed from the list.

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The DOJ wants to make sure they’re honoring victims’ wishes, said Jill Karofsky, executive director of the DOJ’s Office of Crime Victim Services.

“We don’t want to test kits where we’re unsure,” she said. “We want the victims to come forward.”

After an evidence kit is tested, it can trigger legal action regardless of a victim’s wishes.