Victims May Soon Be Able To Track Sexual Assault Kits

Jun 7, 2018

A staff member at Charlotte's Safe Alliance holds an sample sexual assault kit.
Credit Nick de la Canal/ WFAE

A statewide tracking system of sexual assault evidence kits could be coming to North Carolina next year. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the legislation earlier this week.

The tracking system would enable people who have been sexually assaulted to follow the progress of their kits as they are tested in either the state or CMPD crime lab, where there’s a backlog of about 200 untested kits.

While funding for a tracking system still needs to be worked out, it’s significant that the legislation is getting the attention of lawmakers, says Cori Goldstein, the director of Sexual Trauma Resource Center at Safe Alliance.

“Looking at this initiative and seeing the positives around that ability to give a survivor additional knowledge and to have some control...so that they can decide if they want to look up and then keep track of the progress of their kit, I think is positive for survivors,” says Goldstein.

The process of collecting evidence for sexual assault kits is among the topics addressed on this week’s episode of She Says – WFAE’s investigative podcast that tells the story of a sexual assault victim and how Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have handled her case.

As part of the podcast, we are also reaching out to listeners. Last week we asked to hear from listeners who were sexual assaulted, and whether they filed a police report. Here’s one of the responses:

“I was assaulted when I was active duty in the military, deployed to Afghanistan. I did not file a police report. My unit handled everything, if you can call it ‘handling’ it. And I didn’t pursue any type of further justice because as he said, as he was leaving – after he was done, ‘Who is going to believe you anyway?’ ”

You can hear more of those responses in Episode 2 of She Says, available today and at wfae.org/SheSays.

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