Joyful Heart in the News

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Joyful Heart Foundation and Partners File Amicus Brief in Ohio Case That Could Undermine Justice for Rape Survivors
January 20, 2016 • ENDTHEBACKLOG
By Joyful Heart Foundation
We have just filed an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Ohio, which is appealing the Ohio Court of Appeals’ decision to use the state’s backlog of untested rape kits in part to dismiss rape and kidnapping charges against an alleged serial rapist. Partners AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, Rape Abuse Incest National Network, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence and National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) joined Joyful Heart in the filing. read more
State Attorney's Office receives $2 million federal grant to clear rape test-kit backlog
State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that her office has received nearly $2 million in a federal grant to eliminate the about 1,300 sexual-assault test kits sitting on evidence shelves at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. read more
The story behind the first rape kit
Nov. 21, 2015 • CNN
By Jessica Ravitz
First used in Illinois and then across the country, rape kits are making headlines as hundreds of thousands of them are being discovered backlogged, untested and, in some cases, destroyed. read more
Law & Order crime show battles rape myths: study
Nov. 19, 2015 • The Star
By Peter Edwards
TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit may help educate television viewers about rape and importance of sexual consent, study suggests. read more
Christina Aguilera supports HopeLine's domestic violence prevention initiative
Nov. 14, 2015 • examiner.com
By Shaina Moskowitz
"For me it was a no-brainer, and if anything, a must for what’s close to my heart," Aguilera said. read more
This is why thousands of Minnesota rape kits go untested
Nov. 13, 2015 • St. Paul Pioneer Press
By Elizabeth Mohr

The numbers might seem alarming: more than 3,000 rape kits sitting on shelves, untested, at law enforcement agencies across the state. And for more than 9 percent of those cases, the reason for not testing is "unknown."

But police are quick to explain that a reasonable explanation often exists for not testing evidence collected after a sex assault is reported: Sometimes victims do not want to move forward with a case. Sometimes the suspect's identity is not in question. Sometimes prosecutors decline to file charges.

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Michael Stars launches limited T-shirts
• The Beach Reporter
Michael Stars is teaming up with actress Mariska Hargitay and Joyful Heart Foundation to introduce an updated capsule collection of limited-edition tees and tanks that launched nationwide last week. read more
California to propose an end to statute of limitations in rape cases
Nov. 10, 2015 • Al Jazeera
By Marisa Taylor
At least 16 states have no statute of limitations for rape cases in face of rape kit backlog, delays in reporting crimes. read more
Some advocates believe rape kit testing should not be left to law enforcement’s discretion
Nov. 9, 2015 • Idaho Press-Tribune
By Ruth Brown
Advocates, legislators and law enforcement discuss current rape kit testing laws and what, if anything, should be done to change them. read more
The War on Drugs Could Be Making Our Communities More Dangerous
November 8, 2015 • Vice News
By Justin Glawe

When 11 corpses were discovered in and around the Cleveland home of Anthony Sowell in the fall of 2009, there were some 4,000 untested rape kits being neglected by local cops. The deranged rapist and murderer was stopped, but his case exposed the stunning mishandling of missing persons and sexual assault cases in the city,  a problem advocates argue has festered nationwide as the war on drugs has sucked up public safety dollars that might otherwise have gone toward putting rapists and killers behind bars.

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Staffers From The Center In Stamford Talk At Sexual Assault Symposium
September 25, 2015 • Stamford Daily Voice
By Tom Renner
STAMFORD, Conn. -- Jessica Buchanan and Charlotte Poth of The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education, located in Stamford, joined the national conversation on sexual assault prevention education at The Fearless Conference: An Innovative Symposium on Sexual Assault held on Sept. 18 in New York City. read more
Mariska Hargitay is front and center as 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' kicks off its 17th season
September 14, 2015 • Daily News
By Jaqueline Cutler
Mariska Hargitay returns as Sgt. Olivia Benson in the 17th season of “Law & Order: SVU.” read more
More than 40 police agencies to get $79M to test rape kits
September 11, 2015 • USA Today
By Steve Reilly and Charisse Jones
A USA TODAY/TEGNA joint investigation finds thousands of untested rape kits sitting in police department evidence rooms across the country. Rape victims, politicians and police are speaking out, hoping to change that. read more
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79 million to test rape kits
September 10, 2015 • Al Jazeera
Funding will go toward DNA testing on an estimated 70,000 rape kits, which are often backlogged because of expense. read more
New national funding will clear Utah’s backlog of untested rape kits
September 10, 2015 • The Salt Lake Tribune
By The Associated Press
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79M to test the kits nationwide. read more
State Attorney's Office receives $2 million federal grant to clear rape test-kit backlog
By Derek Gilliam
State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that her office has received nearly $2 million in a federal grant to eliminate the about 1,300 sexual-assault test kits sitting on evidence shelves at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. read more
Nearly $80 Million Will Be Used to Finally Test Thousands of Rape Kits
September 10, 2015 • Jezebel
By Anna Merlin

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were in New York Thursday to announce that the White House has awarded $41 million in new rape kit testing grants to police departments across the country, added to the $38 million in grant money that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance already contributed. That $79 million will be used to test 70,000 backlogged rape kits across the country. Finally.

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$79m pledged to eliminate persistent rape kit backlog
September 10, 2015 • The Guardian
By Jessica Glenza
Joe Biden and attorney general Loretta Lynch announce initiative to end backlog of untested sexual assault DNA kits. read more
Millions Earmarked to Clear 'Disturbing' Rape Kit Backlog
September 10, 2015 • NBC News
By Kate Snow, Rich McHugh and Tracy Connor
New effort underway to clear rape kit backlog. read more