Wisconsin Launches Statewide Sexual Assault Tracking System

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A statewide system to track kits that contain evidence following a sexual assault went live on Wednesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced.

The online system allows abuse survivors to track the location of their kit through the testing process. Improving the processing speed, and tracking, of sexual assault kits has been a priority for Kaul and many lawmakers in recent years as the state worked to eliminate a backlog in testing and prevent a new one.

Kaul said the tracking system will “empower survivors to learn about the status of their kit at any time and help prevent a future backlog of untested sexual assault kits.”

Survivor advocates have been pushing for years to improve the entire sexual assault kit system, leading to the passage of bills in Wisconsin last year designed to prevent future backlogs and creating the tracking requirement. Kaul, using grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, initiated the tracking system prior to the law being passed, which he said resulted in it going live sooner.

The tracking system includes 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, the state Department of Justice said.