OKLAHOMA CITY – With over 7,000 untested rape kits in Oklahoma, sexual assault survivors are rallying behind several proposed state bills.
Right now, there are 7,200 untested rape kits in Oklahoma.
On Thursday morning, sexual assault survivors and advocates gathered at the state capitol to rally behind five proposed rape kit and sexual assault reform state bills.
“It is to our knowledge that Oklahoma has repeatedly treated survivors without proper ownership of their own personal crime scenes,” said Sophia Cadena, a University of Oklahoma student and sexual assault survivor.
SB 975 would create a timeline for law enforcement, giving them 20 days once they receive a rape kit to get it to the lab for testing. It also would mandate that rape kits are kept as evidence for 50 years.
SB 967 would create a tracking system where sexual assault survivors can keep up with the status of their rape kits through an online portal.
SB 971 would require law enforcement to go through two hours of training each year on sexual assault issues, including policy, protocol and dealing with survivors.
“Some of you may think, I know I thought, two hours a year isn’t very much time, but you have to realize so far in this state the only training law enforcement has gotten has been when they go through the academy,” said Danielle Tudor, a rape survivor and advocate,.
Over in the House, HB 1319 would give officers five days to retrieve rape kits from a hospital once the crime is reported.
Lastly, HB 2639, known as the Sexual Assault Victims Right to Information Act, would allow them the right to know what’s going on with the case.
“This isn’t about, for me, this is not about bashing law enforcement, this is about putting the truth out there and transparency,” Tudor said.
So far, none of the bills have been pushed through to committee.