September 19, 2008

Big decision after rape might get easier

New law seeks to preserve evidence, give victims time to decide whether to report

This is an awesome new program that Nevada will be implementing!  I more then applaud their efforts in helping make it easier for the victim to come forward and be able to take action.  As a rape survivor, I would have loved having something like this offered.  I, like so many others, didn't want to press charges, at first.  After the shock wore off and the anger took it's place, it was too late, all evidence was gone. 

I believe fully that this will increase the rate of victims that get rape kits done, and believe it or not, the victim doesn't have to pay for the kit!  "Each exam costs about $750, and the county picks up the tab, as required by law."

"This is why, starting Jan. 5, Nevada will be federally mandated to give victims who don’t want to cooperate with police the option to have a forensic sexual assault exam. Nurses currently decide whether to give the exam in these circumstances; next year every victim will be offered the test and protected from having to name names."

"The state will also be required to store any evidence collected during these exams, even though the files may sit unused on a shelf in some eternal evidence locker. The new laws are a product of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, and the logic behind them is simple: Give victims time to decide whether they want to pursue their cases. Don’t force a decision in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event."

THIS is something about this program that I truly am impressed with!  Not only will they use the information for the victim, but also potential other victims.  Through this, they will know who is out there raping women, and can stop them before they rape more! 

"It might be difficult for a traumatized person to memorize a number, or save a scrap of paper that holds the key to her case, said Andrea Sundburg, executive director of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Assault. If victims don’t have to give information about their attackers, they could reasonably provide their names to police, who would keep them in confidence. If a DNA sample linked one assault to a series, cops could call protected victims and tell them their testimony might help take down a serial rapist, Sundburg said."

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