Online sexual assault kit tracker launches across Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It was another step forward for sexual assault victims, as Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass announced a new web tracking service across the state.
This comes just two years after Gail’s Law was passed, requiring all sexual assault kits be barcoded, recorded and tracked. Wednesday’s announcement means now survivors have a resource to keep tabs on their kits; a tool that Glass says puts the power back into their hands.
“I am pleased to announce that sexual assault tracking is available to survivors in 41 Florida counties throughout north Florida from Jacksonville to Pensacola and in the Pinellas County and Indian River crime laboratory service area,” said Commissioner Mark Glass.
Long-time sexual assault advocate Gail Gardner also attended the news conference. She said she couldn’t be prouder of the work the state is doing to bring survivors like herself the justice they deserve. Her journey began almost five years ago when she walked into the police station inquiring about records from her sexual assault. Only to find out that 30 years had passed, and her kit had never been tested.
“I would have never known in 2019 when I walked into the police station, that I would be here today,” she said.
It’s a common crack in the justice system that’s affected thousands of other survivors like her, prompting Gardner and state officials to rally behind her to restore hope for victims of sexual assault or rape. In 2021 the state saw one of many steps in the right direction when Gail’s law passed, and now a second victory with the online (SAK) tracker.
Gardener says it’s humbling to be a part of a network so large and so focused on the survivor, but she shares that this is still just the beginning and that there’s more work to be done.
“Until we fulfill our appointment that all of us are going to have to fulfill one day, this work is going to go on,’ she said.
The tracking resource will be available across all 67 Florida counties in the summer of 2023.
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