Two measures that are part of the Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus bill package addressing violence against women were advanced by the Senate Committee on Judiciary today.
SB2345 addresses the backlog on rape kits by creating a Hawai‘i Sexual Assault Team to address how sexual assault evidence collection kits are processed and tracked. The bill also informs an inventory and report of sexual assault evidence collection kits as to ensure their processing and results reporting in a timely manner and establishes a tracking system to track the kits through the criminal justice system. The Act 207 Report, released in December 2016, identified a total of 2,240 rape kits in the custody of county police departments, 1,951 of which remained untested.
SB2346 increases protection for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking by establishes a program to help victims keep their relocation and addresses confidential. An address confidentiality program would enhance survivors’ safety and privacy and provide them security and peace of mind. If the bill becomes law, Hawaii would join thirty-six other states that already implement these protections.