To: Chief Nursing Officers, Government affairs staff, and staff in charge of services for sexual assault survivors
From: Zosia Stanley, Associate General Counsel | firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 216-2511
Subject: Guidance for Hospitals on Unreported Sexual Assault Kits Collected from April 23, 2019 to June 30, 2020
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide new guidance for hospitals on the process for handling unreported sexual assault kits during temporary moratorium on destruction of unreported sexual assault kits. The bulletin is a follow up to WSHA’s May 17 bulletin.
An “unreported sexual assault kit” is an evidence kit collected from a patient who has consented to the collection of the kit, but who has not reported the crime to law enforcement.
The requirement to retain and ship unreported sexual assault kits applies to any hospital that collects sexual assault evidence kits. Kits collected from April 23, 2019 to June 30, 2020 are to be shipped to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Vancouver or Spokane for storage.
Review the Guidance for Hospitals document prepared in conjunction with the Washington State Patrol.
The Guidance document provides information on how to ship unreported sexual assault kits to the appropriate Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Vancouver or Spokane for storage. The cost for shipping kits will be paid for by the Washington State Patrol if the hospital follows the process provided in the Guidance document.
Due to limited storage capacity at the crime labs, Washington State Patrol does not accept items that need to be refrigerated or frozen, such as blood and urine. Hospitals should continue to store these items. WSHA is actively working with the Washington State Patrol, the Washington Attorney General’s Office, and the SAFE Advisory Group to address this issue.
Background and References
- Guidance for Hospitals on Unreported Sexual Assault Kits Collected from April 23, 2019 to June 30, 2020
- HB 1166 (Relating to supporting sexual assault survivors)
- WSHA Bulletin: New Requirements to Retain Unreported Sexual Assault Kits: Effective Immediately