Fewer than one third of rape test results given to police

<p> A new study done by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital found fewer than half of the results from sexual assault kits are given to police as evidence.</p> <p> “What we found is that only two thirds chose to get the collection, and only one third released it to police,” says Dr. Katherine Muldoon.</p> <p> Muldoon was the main author in the study published in Emergency Medical Journal.</p> <p> Researchers found even when sexual assault evidence kits, known as a 'rape kit' are available in hospitals, many chose not to go through with the full procedure, even fewer release the forensic evidence to the police.</p> <p> The data was collected in 2015. Of the 406 patients from the Ottawa area, nearly two thirds of whom (64.5%, 262) had been sexually assaulted. But only 129 (64%) of those eligible to complete the rape kit went through with the process. Less than a third of those handed over the forensic evidence to the police.</p> <p> Muldoon says, “The factors that we did with releasing the kit were those who didn’t know who their assailant were or those where the assault happened outdoor.”</p> <p> Those under 24 years old, or those who did not know their assailant were more likely to give police the results.</p> <p> The rape kit is forensic evidence collected there from bodily fluids, fingernail scrapings, and DNA clothing samples. They are essential for pursuing a prosecution in rape cases.</p>