Proposal is the latest step in a series of needed reforms
ANCHORAGE – Thursday, on the final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) announced new legislation that would require rape kits to be tested within six months. Current law requires testing of rape kits within one year.
“The headlines this summer and fall have been devastating, telling the stories of too many women being sexually assaulted, not listened to by law enforcement, of repeat offenders, of lives changed forever not just by a violent assault but also by a justice system that failed them,” Representative Tarr said. “Delay means a dangerous individual is out in our community hurting people. That must stop.”
This bill is the next step in Rape Kit Reform, a broad effort to enact trauma informed, victim-centered policies and to bring justice to survivors.
In recent years, several Rape Kit Reform efforts been enacted, including:
“For far too long, Alaska has been at the top of the list for rates of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Representative Tarr added. “What’s worse is that these issues have been ignored by law enforcement and by the legislature. We must change course. This bill should have unanimous support in the legislature. I hope all of my colleagues will support this effort, which is necessary to make our communities safe for women, by joining as a co-sponsor and helping me make this the first bill we pass next session.”