MADISON – Today, Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that legislation creating a procedure to prevent a future backlog of sexual assault kits will take effect this Friday, July 1st. Senator Agard released the following statement regarding implementation of this legislation:
“While no piece of legislation can ever erase the trauma of sexual violence, no one should experience barriers to justice. I have heard from victims and survivors of sexual assault and carry their stories with me. I promised them that I would work tirelessly on their behalf to create a better system.
“After years of hard work on this legislation, I am proud to tell those who have endured the horrible crime of sexual assault that we have taken strides on the path toward justice. Survivors of sexual violence finally have a process that honors their dignity and properly supports them.
“Though long overdue, these polices deliver the support and protection that survivors of sexual violence have waited for. The new law ensures that procedures are in place to uphold survivors’ dignity, choice, and the right to a fair and just process, protecting those who choose not to report at the time of an assault or who later change their minds. For survivors in our state, we see you and honor you, and we will continue to work to support you. There is still much more work to be done to support survivors of sexual violence.
“I want to thank the bipartisan coalition of legislators, Governor Evers, Attorney General Kaul, former Attorney General Schimel, advocates, survivors, and everyone else who worked tirelessly to help push this across the finish line. Today, we celebrate the bipartisan work that has brought about this needed change in Wisconsin. When we come together to deliberate and cooperate, we deliver just solutions to Wisconsin’s most pressing issues.”