Hospitals would be required to participate in ISP sexual assault evidence tracking system under Villa measure

SPRINGFIELD – Hospitals across Illinois would be required to participate in the Illinois State Police sexual assault evidence tracking system and explain the tracking process to survivors under legislation sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

“The Illinois State Police sexual assault evidence tracking system can only be used to its full potential if all hospitals participate in the system,” Villa said. “Survivors who are brave enough to submit evidence for a rape kit deserve to have all the information on how to track their evidence through every step of the process.”

In 2020, the Illinois State Police launched an online tracking system for rape kits that allows survivors of sexual assault to track evidence in their cases, but not all hospitals in Illinois opted to participate. Villa’s measure would require hospitals to enter collected sexual assault evidence into the tracking system.

The legislation would also ensure survivors of sexual assault receive information on how to use the tracking system from health care facilities or law enforcement.

“Sexual assault cases can be some of the most personal and emotional cases for survivors, but having ownership of and being able to track their evidence kit can help bring them one step closer to closure,” Villa said. “This legislation will help ensure survivors have the resources they need at their fingertips.”

House Bill 1739 passed the Senate Executive Committee after passing the House unanimously and now goes to the full Senate.