West Virginia Senate to pass mandate on rape kit training

0 8

Sexual assault victims in West Virginia could find it easier to find health care providers to conduct forensics and collect rape kits if a bill passed by the Senate on Monday becomes law.

Currently, some victims of sexual assault must travel for hours to find a properly trained provider to conduct forensics, Republican Senator Michael Maroney said. There are only a few hospitals in northern West Virginia whose staff are properly trained to collect evidence from rape victims.

“I think it adds a lot more trauma to the victim who is already traumatized,” says Maroney of Marshall County. “Every kilometer you drive increases the risk of infection, so you run the risk of not being convicted.”

Rape kits are used to gather evidence after assaults and can be used to match the assault to a suspect in existing DNA databases or develop a DNA profile that can be used in the future.

SAN FRANCISCO RAPE PACKAGE VICTIM USED AS EVIDENCE AGAINST HER YEARS LATER IN UNRELATED CASE: LAW TRIAL

The bill now going to the state House of Representatives would require all hospitals in the state with an emergency room to have 24-hour staff available who are trained to conduct forensics for victims of sexual assault. The bill requires providers to receive training from the Forensic Investigation Committee on Sexual Violence by July 2024.

Maroney said the change would be challenging to implement because “this is a mandate for nursing education during what is possibly the worst nursing shortage in our state’s history.” But he said it was too important to wait.

The West Virginia Senate on Monday approves a mandate for rape kit training. This bill goes to the House of Representatives and requires doctors to conduct forensics for victims of sexual assault.

“The timing isn’t ideal, but… they knew it was coming, they’re going to speed it up a little bit,” he said of West Virginia hospitals. “They know it’s the right thing to do and it’s going well.”

Hospitals will have about a year and a half to train and prepare staff before the legislation becomes law, he said.

State officials launched an initiative in 2015 to begin testing the nearly 2,400 rape kits on the shelf. Some kits date back to the 1980s.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In 2020, lawmakers passed a bill requiring rape kits to be submitted to the state police forensic lab within 30 days or as soon as possible after collection. This law also tracks rape kits and requires law enforcement officers to obtain a court order before throwing out the exams.

Not all news on the site reflects the site’s point of view, but we automatically transmit and translate this news through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.