What to Know
- New Jersey will survey untested sexual assault examination kits
- Gov. Phil Murphy signed law S1216 Wednesday to require the attorney general to conduct the survey
- The law aims to better understand how these kits are handled by local law enforcement agencies throughout the state
New Jersey will require the survey of untested sexual assault examination kits in an effort to better understand how these kits are handled by local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed law S1216 Wednesday to require the attorney general to conduct the survey.
The law requires the attorney general, in consultation with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, to conduct a survey concerning sexual assault examination kits in the possession of law enforcement agencies in this state that have not been submitted to a laboratory approved by the attorney general for serology or DNA testing.
“Survivors of rape and sexual assault deserve to know that their cases are treated with the utmost importance and diligence,” Murphy said in a statement. “The survey that this law mandates will provide us with a clear picture of how rape kits are logged, tracked, and stored in our state and guide decisions on potential future actions.”
The survey will include questions concerning agency policies and procedures governing the submission of these kits to an approved forensic laboratory for testing, including specific submission criteria, timelines, and victim notifications.
Additionally, the survey will also include questions pertaining to agency policies and procedures for logging, tracking, and storing sexual assault examination kits, as well as descriptive, statistical, and other relevant information about the sexual assault examination kits currently in the agency’s possession.
Upon conclusion of the survey, the attorney general will submit a report to the governor and the state legislature.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement: “A measure like this, which is designed to give us a more thorough understanding of how Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kits are being handled by law enforcement agencies throughout the State, will allow New Jersey to remain at the forefront of nationwide best practices and standards in our efforts to ensure that victims of sexual assault receive the services and respect they deserve, and that their cases are handled in accordance with best practices by law enforcement."