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Rita was a victim of rape by an acquaintance and she was not ready to tell anyone (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). Rita was able to go to the hospital for evidence to be collected in a “rape kit,” however she did not want to file a police report (Plummer et al., 2014). In the case study of Rita the state she was living in only allows a 90-day hold on sexual assault evidence that has not been reported to the police. It takes victims of sexual assault time to gain an understanding of what has happened to them, they are in crisis and experiencing strong and conflicting emotions (Plummer et al., 2014).
The policy to destroy evidence after 90 days is not beneficial to the survivors of rape and it does not take into consideration the psychological effects of being raped. I would change the policy for evidence retention and have it better reflect protection of the victim. The state of New Jersey has established a new directive that requires sexual assault medical evidence to be retained for a minimum of five years, this is to specifically allow victims time to decide if they are going to release the evidence to the police (The National Center for Victims of Crime, 2014). The Governor of Massachusetts (MA) has signed legislation in 2016 allowing sexual assault evidence to remain stored until the statutes of limitation has expired, which in MA is 15 years for sexual assault (Governor of MA, 2016). This legislation was also specifically considering that sexual assault victims need time before they decide to file a police report.
The success of this policy could be measured by the number of cases that are being prosecuted with evidence that was stored for over 90-days. Another indicator of the new policy being effective would be how many convictions with evidence that was stored for over 90-days.
Governor of Massachusetts (2016). Governor Baker signs legislation requiring preservation of
Sexual assault evidence. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-
Plummer, S. B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.) (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore:
MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
The National Center for Victims of Crime. (2014). Evidence Retention Laws. Retrieved from
3. SOCW 6351 discussion 2 week 11
Respond by Day 5 to at least two colleagues by examining their critique of the current campus policies and suggestions for change. Analyze the feasibility of their suggested policy change and provide your thoughts on any gaps not addressed in the original post.
Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
A. Stacy Rushton-Turner
RE: Discussion 2 – Week 11
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