Rauner signs bill to protect victims of sex assault

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Friday, August 12, 2016
Gov. Bruce Rauner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- In hopes of addressing the decade-long rape kit backlog, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Friday to help sexual assault victims seek justice.

The bill, which creates the Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act, provides sexual assault victims with stricter protections during the evidence collection process and ensures rapid transfer of evidence from the hospital to law enforcement agencies.

"As a state, we must do everything within our power to ensure victims are supported and that their aggressors are quickly brought to justice," Rauner said. "This bill strengthens the policy behind evidence collection and gives the state tools to speed up the testing process to ensure victims have the ability to hold their aggressors accountable and get the justice they deserve."

The bill, SB 3096, implements standards for 911 operators and police to handle sexual assault cases. It also requires hospitals to provide instructions on how to help survivors give consent for their rape test kit to be tested.

The bill requires that hospitals must notify law enforcement agencies that they have collected a rape test kit within a four hour period and the law enforcement agency must collect it within 10 days.