RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 674 into law on Thursday. The bill is a win for sexual assault advocates looking to lessen impact of an assault for survivors.

The bill requires DNA samples be taken from anyone convicted of a sexual assault and domestic violence offenses. Those found not guilty by reason of insanity must submit their DNA sample as well.

The law applies to perpetrators of felonies and misdemeanors.

Under the bill’s language, even if someone is found guilty but spends no time behind bars (including those who are committed to a mental health facility), they must provide a DNA sample as a condition of release.

The law goes into effect Dec. 1 and applies to people convicted on or after that date.

In addition, HB 674 bars any medical facility or professional from billing a survivors for a rape kit. Providers cannot bill the patient, their personal insurance, Medicare or Medicaid for conducting the examination either. A patient cannot be sent to collections for refusing to pay for a sexual assault examination either.

“Victims of sexual assault deserve access to a rape kit without being further victimized by being charged for it. This new law will also strengthen the state’s DNA database used to catch criminals by including domestic violence and assault crimes,” Cooper said in a statement.

According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, collecting DNA samples is an important tool in achieving justice for survivors of sexual assault. The organization said it increased the likelihood of identifying perpetrators for future offenses, keeps perpetrators accountable and could prevent future assaults from happening.