Governor Deal signed the Rape Kit Bill (House Bill 827) this morning.
Here’s 5 reasons the bill could help rape victims:
- The bill was first known as the “Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act.”
- What does this bill do?
The Bill will require medical information or “rape kits” to be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in order to help with the investigative process.
- What exactly is a “rape kit”?
A rape kit is the evidence collected from a forensic medical examination, which is performed on an alleged victim of a rape case. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network says the DNA evidence can be collected from the “body, clothes, and other personal belongings.”
- Why was it proposed?
Representative Scott Holcomb says the bill gained momentum when Grady Hospital in Atlanta withheld over 1,000 rape kits from law enforcement since 2000.
- What’s the process now?
Healthcare providers will alert law enforcement, and law enforcement will be required to pick up the kits no later than 96 hours. Law enforcement will then be required to transfer the kits to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation within 30 days.
Representative Scott Holcomb says that in the past, the GBI would only accept rape kits if they had a suspect. This bill would change this process, requiring the GBI to accept kits if the victims want to move forward in the legal process.
By: Jane Mo