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Law Change Will Allow Rape Kits to be Done Anonymously

By 7 Eyewitness News Staff
By news@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - A new law that goes into affect Sunday, July 1, is aimed at helping victims of sexual assault by making it possible for them to remain anonymous yet still receive treatment.

When rape victims go to the hospital, medical officials are currently required to contact investigators. But when the new law goes into affect, adult victims can ask to remain anonymous. They can still more forward with the forensic evaluation, which means evidence will be available should he or she later decide to move forward and file a police report.

"I hope what it will do is encourage more people to come in, have a forensic exam done, get treatment, get referrals and seek counseling," said Capt. Mike Holt of the Jackson Police Department. "The evidence will be preserved should they decide to come forward later."

Medical officials will still forward the evidence that is collected to investigators, but it will not include the victim's name.

According to law enforcement, sexual assault is the most under reported crime.
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