How well does Idaho's sexual assault tracking system work? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How well does Idaho's sexual assault tracking system work?

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Last year, Idaho became the first state in the nation to use a new sexual assault kit tracking system.

Monday, Idaho State Police released new data on how well it’s working to track sexual assaults in the state.

Idaho State Police say the tracking system allows them to be more transparent and for victims to see law enforcement take sexual assault seriously.

The tracking system is available at the click of a button.

The system is now used at Idaho’s hospitals, law enforcement and prosecutors to help bring sexual assault suspects to justice.

The 39 page report outlines over 500 statewide kits were submitted to the Idaho State Police Forensic Lab in 2017.

Over 300 kits were completed, that number includes kits previously entered into the system.

Chauntelle Lieske is the executive director for Safe Passage; she says she’s been there in the hospital waiting room with sexual assault victims.

“To re-assure them, they would blame themselves 'it was my fault, I shouldn't have gone out for drinks tonight, I should have never, I should have never',” Lieske said, “and just being able to sit there and be that voice to them to say that it doesn't matter what you did, this shouldn't happen to you."

The report also says they’ve stopped destroying sexual assault kits and that the new state law is being followed.

It also added the forensic lab saw a 107% increase in DNA submissions in 2017.

A number they call staggering, but what that number means is that more women are coming forward.


Something that Lieske says is a step in the right direction.

“Anytime there are services that are available to survivors anonymously without having them report or making them do something it's really re-assuring,” she said, “that's the best way to give survivors autonomy is to give them all their options and as much information as you possibly can."

Lieske added that anyone who is a victim of sexual assault could come to Safe Passage or call the 24-hour hotline at 208-664-9303.

You can also find the full ISP report here: https://www.isp.idaho.gov/forensics/inc/documents/sakSpreadSheets/legislativeReport/SAK%20Annual%20Report%20Final%202017.pdf

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