Gov. Evers signs two bills aimed at helping sexual assault survivors

WEST BEND, Wis. – Gov. Evers signed two bills Monday aimed at supporting survivors of sexual assault.

Act 116 establishes a statutory procedure for collecting and submitting sexual assault kits to state crime laboratories.

Act 117 creates a tracking system for survivors to access information on the status of their sexual assault kit.

The new laws come after Wisconsin dealt with a backlog of sexual assault kits.

Victims and survivors of sexual assault have already gone through the unimaginable,” Evers said. “I am proud to sign these bills today, increasing transparency and accountability in the state’s testing process for sexual assault kits to help prevent future delays in justice.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul and State Senator Melissa Agard joined Evers in West Bend for a signing ceremony.

Kaul leads the state’s Sexual Assault Response Team and helped develop the legislation.

“I’m proud that we were able to bring folks together across the aisle to enact this important public safety legislation,” Kaul said. “Wisconsin will be safer because this bill has become law.”

In a statement, Agard called the new laws a “huge win.”

“We celebrate today bipartisan work that will bring about needed change in Wisconsin,” Agard said. “Survivors in our state will finally have a process that honors their dignity and properly supports them.”

The bills were originally introduced in May of 2019.