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The Technoscientific Witness of Rape: Contentious Histories of Law, Feminism, and Forensic Science (UTP, 2017)

Since it was first dubbed “Ontario’s most successful rapist trap” in 1984, the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK) has become an important forensic technology in criminal investigations of sexual assault. It has been heralded as significantly improving victims’ access to care and justice. Despite these accolades, the SAEK has largely failed to live up to its promises. The Technoscientific Witness of Rape charts the untold history of the Ontario SAEK from 1970-2016. Drawing on Actor-Network Theory and feminist technoscience studies, the book examines how the SAEK gained credibility as a ‘technoscientific witness’ of sexual assault in the Canadian criminal justice system amidst controversies and political struggles over sexual assault law, forensics, activism, and victim advocacy in Ontario. The book reveals how despite decades of institutional reform, the criminal justice system continues to be a site where many sexual assault victims are re-victimized in their quest for medical treatment and justice.

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