MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced the launch of Track-Kit, a statewide sexual assault kit (SAK) tracking system. Beginning today, all SAKs collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will be tracked in Track-Kit, an online system that allows survivors to follow the location of their kit through the testing process.
“This system will empower survivors to learn about the status of their kit at any time and help prevent a future backlog of untested sexual assault kits,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The launch of a sexual assault kit tracking system in Wisconsin is another important step forward in ensuring that a victim-centered approach is being taken in sexual assault cases.”
This system will provide survivors with transparency regarding the status and location of their kit, helping to empower those survivors who want access to that information. The system also maintains a timeline of a kit’s history, from the medical facility to the law enforcement agency to the crime laboratory, with the length of time spent at each location documented. Track-Kit will help ensure that a backlog of untested kits never again occurs because survivors will be able to easily check on the status of their kit.
Sheboygan Police Lieutenant Corey Norlander, co-chair of the AG Sexual Assault Response Team, said “I have had the honor of serving on the Attorney General's Sexual Assault Response Team since 2018, and as the Co-Chair since early 2019. Attorney General Kaul has provided clear expectations around sexual assault related topics, and I have observed this team work to support those expectations. The sexual assault kit testing backlog is gone. Legislation regarding submission of kits is in place. And now we will see the statewide rollout of the Kit Tracking System.”
Norlander continued, “Sheboygan County has been one of the pilot sites for the new sexual assault kit tracking system. We have found it to be easy to use and forces accountability. This system will be a significant benefit to sexual assault victims and all related community partners throughout the State of Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated this project prior to the passage of recent SAK tracking legislation, 2021 Act 117, and the SAK tracking system is now live ahead of the statutory requirement. Putting the system in place prior to the effective date of the legislation allows survivors, victim advocates, investigators, and crime lab staff to use the system sooner and will help ensure that the system is running smoothly when the statutory requirements go into effect.
“We are excited that DOJ is launching the SAK Tracking System today,” stated Pennie Meyers, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA). “The kit tracking is a critical part of a trauma-informed response for sexual assault survivors, as it provides them the ability to anonymously access to access information about their SAK at a time and place of their choosing. Along with Act 116, which establishes time frames for the prompt submission of SAKs for testing, the kit tracking system will also help ensure we do not see a future backlog of unsubmitted kits.”
Track Kit operates on a bar code system, therefore no personally identifiable information from the victim will be stored in the Track Kit system. At the time of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner exam, assault survivors will receive their SAK’s barcode. Survivors will be able to easily look up their SAK’s location, ensuring that survivors can easily check to make sure their kit has been sent to the crime lab for testing and is not sitting forgotten and untested on evidence or hospital room shelves across the state.
The funding for the kit tracking system was secured through Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grants from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since 2015, BJA has awarded SAKI grants to the WI DOJ to inventory previously unsubmitted SAKs, test those kits, assign designated personnel to pursue new investigative leads and prosecutions, and to support victims throughout the investigation and prosecution process. In addition, SAKI grant funding is being used to increase collection of offender DNA that may lead to the identification of serious and serial sex offenders.