Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on January 24, 2013 @ 12:03PM
Created on January 23, 2013 @ 5:03PM
It's past phase one, and now it's on to stage two.
As soon as next month, the Legislature could take up a bill this session designed to help rape victims and law enforcement.
Earlier this month a subcommittee approved a draft of the bill. It calls for a commission that would come up with a protocol for conducting a sexual assault forensic examination. It would also designate location to perform the exams.
Officials from the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services are pushing it because not every county has a place where a victim can be examined. They fear because victims have to travel for hours just to be examined that could cause them to get frustrated and go home.
The commission would designate facilities as treatment sites and would encourage those places to be open around-the-clock.
In Monongalia County folks can head to Ruby Memorial Hospital if they've been the victim of a sexual assault.
Sheriff Al Kisner said the training the folks receive there has gone a long way to help solving a few of their sexual assault cases.
"When the analysis is done of that evidence and a suspect is developed it's normally because they did a good job of giving us the evidence we needed to start with to begin a good investigation," Kisner said.
Officials have estimated it would cost around $98,000 every year to fund everything needed for the bill.
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