From the Tallahassee Democrat:
Five women in Tallahassee have taken advantage of a new state law that allows women who have been raped to get a forensic exam at no cost without reporting the crime to police. [...]
Five trained nurses employed by Refuge House perform the exams at the hospital. The nurses give the evidence to the Tallahassee Police Department, which stores the sexual-assault kits and labels them with a number if the woman does not want
to release her name. The kits stay there in case the woman decides she wants to file a report.
Rick Courtemanche, the Police Department's legal adviser, said when a report is filed, it is cross-referenced with the kit's serial number. The kit is then sent to the crime lab for DNA testing.
This change in law is an important one since it doesn't pressure rape victims into reporting before getting a forensic exam and it doesn't discourage rape victims who can't afford to pay for the exam but who aren't sure if they will file a police report.
The unfortunate reality is that not all police officers are informed allies to all those who have been raped. Even when everyone in the police department is respectful, the process of reporting and working to see justice done can be traumatic and disruptive to the victim's life. Victims deserve the right to delay reporting or to decline reporting.
The other benefit of this law change is that it will make rapists uneasy even when they are not being actively investigated in the days immediately following the rape. Many rapists depend on their victims not reporting in time for DNA evidence to be collected.
States and other jurisdictions that don't already have a law like Florida's need to change their laws.