Statewide Sexual Assault Kit tracking system in place

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OLYMPIA — A new Washington State Patrol system that is designed give sexual assault survivors the ability to track the status of their Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) has finished its roll-out phase and is now fully implemented.

The system, which in modeled after a similar system in Canada, was developed by STACS DNA, Inc. and gives sexual assault survivors the ability to access the system and anonymously track the progress of their SAK. Every SAK will have a bar code and medical staff, law enforcement and prosecutors will have their own portals to input and track cases, according to a release from the Washington State Patrol.

“This is the first system in the country to offer a fully secure login for survivors to track their kits,” WSP Chief Batiste stated. “In addition to the transparency this system provides, it gives the survivor a sense of security knowing their kit has not been forgotten, misplaced or destroyed.”

Washington State Second Substitute House Bill 2530 created the legislation that allowed the tracking system to be instituted.

“The legislature recognizes the deep pain and suffering experienced by victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault is an extreme violation of a person's body and sense of self and safety. Sexual violence is a pervasive social problem. National studies indicate that approximately one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes,” reads the bill. “Survivors often turn to hospitals and local law enforcement for help, and many volunteer to have professionals collect a sexual assault kit to preserve physical evidence from their bodies. The process of collecting a sexual assault kit is extremely invasive and difficult.”

The WSP says additional benefits include web portal access for all stakeholders, a secure login, mobile device access, workload forecasting and bar code data capture. For more information visit wastatepatrol.net/sak.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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