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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an anonymous/unreported Sexual Assault Kit?

An anonymous/unreported sexual assault kit is a kit that was collected during a forensic examination at a hospital or medical facility from a survivor who chose not to file a police report. These kits are stored at hospitals and law enforcement agencies for varying lengths of time.

Will you only test a Sexual Assault Kit if the victim 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.

Will victims be notified of the results of the testing of their kit?
  • Victim notification is a crucial step in this process and must be performed with the utmost respect for the survivor’s confidentiality and privacy. While individual law enforcement jurisdictions will ultimately decide when and how to notify survivors, there are recommended practices and protocols available to ensure that notification is accomplished in a timely, victim-centered and trauma-informed manner:
    • Minimizing the impact of trauma upon the survivors.
    • Providing accurate information about the DNA analysis and status of any potential investigation or prosecution.
    • Affording survivors the opportunity to receive counseling and services, regardless of their decision to participate in or assist with any further investigation or prosecution.  
  • The National SAKI Training and Technical Assistance Team has developed 12 Key Questions to Guide Victim Notification Protocols to assist local jurisdictions in developing their local policies and practices.
When and where will Sexual Assault Kits be tested?

Testing is already underway. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab is contracted with private, accredited labs to test the kits. The testing process is complex and it can take anywhere from weeks to months to complete the process for each kit. Additional information about the testing process can be found here.

Who is paying for the testing?

Legislative funding and grant funding are being used to pay for the processing and testing of unsubmitted sexual assault kits. In 2015, the legislature provided funding to the WSP Crime Lab to begin testing unsubmitted sexual assault kits. In 2017, the AGO was awarded a $3 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and $1.5 million of the BJA grant covers sexual assault kit testing. The grant also funded two full-time SAKI investigators.

Does every Sexual Assault Kit contain DNA?

In some cases, DNA testing does not result in a profile being obtained from a sexual assault kit. There are many reasons for this, for example: the suspect wore a condom or did not ejaculate.

Is every DNA profile obtained from a Sexual Assault Kit entered into CODIS?

No, not all DNA profiles are eligible to be entered into CODIS. The FBI requires a foreign DNA profile to meet multiple critera before it can be uploaded.

Some reasons why a profile would be ineligible for upload to CODIS are:

•The foreign DNA profile is attributed to a consensual partner.
•The foreign DNA profile is a complex mixture (more than 2 people detected in the DNA).
•The foreign DNA profile is partial, meaning only limited amounts of DNA was detected.

For more information on DNA requirements Click here.