Jackson: New law will help protect rape victims in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS – A new law co-sponsored by State Rep. Carolyn B. Jackson (D-Hammond) will help rape victims in Indiana protect their identities and keep better track of rape kits as they move through the state’s criminal justice system.

Under Public Law 36 (Senate Enrolled Act 424), the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute database will use a number found on each rape kit to help victims and prosecutors track the kit as it is received, examined, processed, and finalized. The new law also provides a means to reimburse those who provide forensic medical exams, as well as additional forensic services to rape victims that will help protect their identity.

“This important new law will bring peace of mind to victims of rape who choose to have their kits tested,” Jackson said. “They will be able to track the progress of their kit at each step of the process, from the moment it is collected to the time when an analysis of the kit is complete, or when the kit is destroyed after the one-year waiting period. It is my hope that this new law will prove to help rape victims successfully move through the recovery process, while also protecting their identity.”

A state-wide audit performed by the Indiana State Police in 2017 found that close to 2,600 rape kits had never been submitted for examination, a problem that this new law is intended to address.

The program is expected to be fully operational by July 1.

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