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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative?

The Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (WiSAKI) is a statewide effort to address the accumulation of unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) in the possession of local law enforcement agencies and hospitals. Initiated by the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Response Team (AG SART) and led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), WiSAKI is a collaborative effort among law enforcement, victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners, prosecutors, health care systems, and the Wisconsin State Crime Lab (WSCL).  

What is an unsubmitted sexual assault kit?

An unsubmitted sexual assault kit is a sexual assault kit that has not been submitted to a forensic laboratory for testing and analysis using Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) eligible DNA methodologies. For more information about CODIS, click here.

Is there information on the number of sexual assault kits inventoried, how many will be tested, and why they weren't tested before?

WiSAKI conducted a detailed, statewide inventory of every unsubmitted sexual assault kit in the possession of law enforcement agencies and hospitals across the state. After a year of collecting case-specific information from all of Wisconsin’s 557 law enforcement agencies and every hospital that conducts forensic exams, DOJ was able to report to BJA that there were approximately 6,300 sexual assault kits around the state. Data about kits inventoried and which kits will be tested can be found on the Data & Results page.

Are all of the kits being tested?

While most of the previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) will be tested, the WiSAKI project's victim centered approach has meant there are certain circumstances in which the SAKs are not currently designated for testing. To learn more about those reasons and the breakdown click here.

Will you only test a kit if the survivor consents?

For the majority of the cases, if the victim reported the assault to law enforcement, that is interpreted as consent to test their kit. If the victim did not report to law enforcement the kit will not be tested. The exception to this rule is for assaults occurring after July 1, 2011, in which the suspect is not identified to law enforcement. State statute (§ 175.405) requires that these kits be submitted to the WSCL.