Pair of laws in Iowa seek to improve state’s response to sexual assault, help victims

July 21, 2021

In an effort to help victims of sexual assault, Iowa is creating a new unit within the state attorney general’s office that will train nurses on how to conduct exams, collect evidence and share information with survivors. States such as Illinois and Nebraska already have lead agencies that oversee training efforts and maintain a list of trained examiners, according to the Iowa attorney general’s office.

This new sexual assault forensic examiner program was created with passage of HF 603. A second measure, SF 451, establishes an automated system for victims and local prosecutors to track sexual assault evidence kits. Money for this new system will come from Iowa’s Victim Compensation Fund, whose sources of revenue include criminal fines and penalties, victim restitution and federal funds.