'Track-Kit' System Will Empower Rape, Sexual Assault Victims, BARCC Says


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Starting next week, victims of rape in central and western Massachusetts can track their evidence kits online as they make their way through the testing process.

The new system known as "Track-Kit," already available to victims of rape and sexual assault in southeastern Massachusetts, is the result of a criminal justice reform act signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018.

Katia Santiago-Taylor, Advocacy and Legislative Affairs Manager at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, said that, even though the Commonwealth doesn't have a significant backlog of rape kits like in other parts of the country, the tracking system is important because it holds law enforcement and others accountable.

"We will know if a law enforcement agency is not transporting the kit to the crime lab for analysis," she said. "We will know if the kit stays too long at the hospital."

Santiago-Taylor said Track-Kit empowers victims, allowing them "to be able to see that it was picked up at the hospital, that it's at a law enforcement agency, it went to the crime lab, and that the crime lab started the process in the timeline that they're supposed to be doing it."

The last phase of the Track-Kit rollout will happen by March when victims in Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex Counties will have access.

WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports

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