NewsLocal News

Actions

Governor signs bill that would increase testing of rape kits

Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 19:07:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- On Thursday morning, Governor Terry McAuliffe officially signed into law bills that will continue to help protect victims of sexual assault.

Once of them involves rape kits.

A recent audit found that nearly 3,000 untested kits containing physical evidence were in the custody of law enforcement agencies across Virginia. Most of those were related to rape or sexual assault cases.

Governor McAuliffe said this legislation is expected to double the number of kits tested each year.

"The legislation includes a process for survivors to  request information on the status and the results of those tests," McAuliffe said.

Rape Kits

Rape Kits

Richmond Deputy Police Chief Steve Drew said Chief Durham has brought up the issue of untested kits in the past.

"All the kits are going to all be processed and then it's going to make it easier if we have some issues with juvinille victims that they have some additional rights now," said Deputy Chief Drew.

Kristi VanAudenhove is a rape survivor.

She now works with the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

She calls this move groundbreaking and said she's looking forward to it helping more victims.

Kristi VanAudenhove

Kristi VanAudenhove

Lawmakers have also said this evidence could help link to other repeat offenders in the system.