Media Archive by Topic: rape kit backlog

Titlesort descending
Congress slated to increase rape kit funding by $45M
December 16, 2015 • USA Today
Steve Reilly

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers are positioned to devote $45 million in the 2016 fiscal year to combat the nation’s accumulation of untested sexual assault kits.

The funding, included as part of the omnibus spending bill Congress released Wednesday, is aimed at helping local law enforcement agencies test backlogged sexual assault evidence kits and perform related activities as part of a U.S. Justice Department initiative.

...

read more
Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away
May 19, 2015 • The New York Times
Nicholas Kristof
Sexual assault thrives with impunity, and that’s one reason we should routinely test rape kits, to chip away at the impunity and raise the costs of rape so that it becomes less common. read more
Detective Olivia Benson on the Case: Mariska Hargitay’s Emotional Plea to Get Backlogged Rape Kits Tested
March 12, 2014 • Time
Charlotte Alter
The Law & Order: SVU star teared up when she discussed the immense backlog of untested rape kits. read more
Detroit’s rape kit backlog identified more than 800 serial rapists
December 19, 2017 • The Daily Dot
Samantha Grasso

Detroit’s eight-year dive into its untested rape kit backlog identified more than 800 serial rapists, illustrating the importance for law enforcement to take sexual violence seriously as part of the “Me Too” movement empowering survivors around the world.

read more
Did Mariska Hargitay Help Catch A Real-Life Rapist?
March 11, 2014 • Huffington Post
Erin Whitney
It's no news that "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay fights for survivors of sexual assault in real life. The Joyful Heart Foundation, which she founded to help put an end to sexual and domestic violence, has recently helped the city of Detroit obtain funds to process a backlog of nearly 11,000 untested rape kits. read more
DNA doesn’t lie
May 30th, 2011 • Boston Herald
Linda Fairstein
The fact that there are estimated to be almost a quarter of a million untested rape evidence collection kits collecting dust in police department warehouses across this country remains a national embarrassment. read more
DNA Evidence CAN Stop Serial Rapists
August 4th, 2011 • Ms. Magazine
Stephanie Hallet
It was an ordinary day in October, 2002. Julie Weil and her infant son were picking up Julie’s daughter, three-year-old Emily, from her Florida preschool at noon. As Julie buckled her daughter into her car seat, she felt a sudden blow to the head. read more
DNA test key in state rape kit overhaul
October 23rd, 2009 • Times Union
Carol Demere
It was the first overhaul in 20 years of what is officially known as the sexual offense evidence collection kit and the upgrade was seriously needed, state Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise E. O’Donnell said. read more
Eagle Club Indoor Golf Raises More Than $10K For Actress Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation
April 11, 2017 • Patch
Nikki Gaskins

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Eagle Club Indoor Golf is excited to announce the recent success of its first ever “Drive-A-Thon” fundraiser. On March 31st and April 1st, San Francisco’s #1 spot for indoor golf culminated its quarter long fundraising campaign with a drive-a-thon to benefit Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. The money raised—$10,200 total—will benefit the non-profit’s “End the Backlog” campaign.

read more
Editorial: A rape kit calamity
February 20, 2017 • Savannah Morning News
Savannah Morning News

Joanie is a Missouri woman who was brutally raped in 1991 by a man she didn’t know and then was virtually ignored by the criminal justice system.

Fortunately, her attacker was eventually caught and sent to prison, thanks to persistent officials in that state who made sure the rape kit taken after her attack was tested and the results shared.

read more
End our backlog of rape kit processing
November 6, 2013 • Shreveport Times
Sarah Tofte
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. read more
Ending the Backlog
September 28th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Mariska Hargitay and Neal Baer
By failing to test rape kits, we are telling victims that pursuing justice doesn't matter, that convicting violent perpetrators and taking them off our streets is not a top priority. read more
Ending the Rape Kit Backlog
February 21, 2014 • Women's Media Center
Marcia G. Yerman
The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report in January entitled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action.” read more
Faced With Staggering Backlogs of Rape Kits, States Change Testing, Investigations
February 17, 2016 • The Pew Charitable Trusts
Rebecca Beitsch

Seeking to secure justice for thousands of rape victims, about 20 states are moving to test a backlog of unexamined rape kits found in storage rooms in police departments across the country — and change the rules for how rape cases are handled in the future.

read more
Failure to Test Rape Kits is a National Embarrassment
September 29th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Lisa Madigan
Ask anyone to name the most serious crimes--rape and murder always top the list. It is impossible to imagine critical evidence in a murder case would not be used to put a murderer behind bars and bring peace and safety to the victim's loved ones and community. read more
Federal Dollars Help Clear Untested Rape Kits
October 6, 2017 • News LI
Andrea Sears

New York City is getting some federal help to eliminate its backlog of untested rape kits.

The Justice Department’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is distributing $34 million to 20 jurisdictions around the country. The grants will help test kits that have often sat in evidence lockers for years, prosecute those identified by DNA analysis, and keep victims informed.

read more
Feds Kick In $38M More to Fight Rape-Kit Backlog
September 21, 2016 • Courthouse News Service
Nick Divito

Two years after shocking revelations about 70,000 rape kits that went unprocessed across the country for decades, the United States committed another $38 million on Monday to expand testing.

read more
Former Houston woman sues city, officials over 6,000 untested rape kits
September 25, 2017 • Houston Chronicle
Gabrielle Banks

A former Houston woman is suing the City of Houston and a long list of current and former mayors and police chiefs for failing to investigate a backlog of more than 6,000 untested rape kits, and not identifying her attacker as a man who had been in a national police database for decades.

read more
Guest column: End to rape kit backlog will serve healing
February 17, 2014 • The Commercial Appeal
Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Sarah Tofte
Last week we stood together as Memphis made a public commitment to address and eliminate the city’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits. read more
How Can We Solve America's Backlogged Rape Kit Problem?
May 11, 2017 • Glamour
Cady Drell

Someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the United States. That's a number big and scary enough that you'd think it would be a compelling argument for doing something about it, and yet sexual assault cases rarely even go to trial, let alone lead to a conviction. One part of the problem: It's estimated that 175,000 sexual assault evidence kits — often referred to as "rape kits" — remain untested in evidence storage facilities around the country. 

read more
How Mariska Hargitay's 'Law & Order' Role Spurred HBO's Sexual Assault Doc
April 24, 2017 • The Hollywood Reporter
Ashley Lee

After 18 years of starring in Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay is taking on sexual assault offscreen.

The star of NBC’s long-running procedural series is a producer of I Am Evidence, a new documentary highlighting the hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States. The dormant status of these kits, some of which have been left in police evidence storage rooms for decades, mirrors the pattern of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault victims. Meanwhile, perpetrators are never held accountable for their crimes.

read more
Hundreds of sexual assault kits untested in Missouri
January 5, 2016 • KOMU 8
Emna Nicolas

COLUMBIA – Hundreds of rape and sexual assault kits in Missouri go untested for months or years at a time, while some are never tested at all.

The current state of Missouri’s system to prosecute rapists is failing survivors who made the choice of enduring the four to six-hour examination required to create a kit.

“And they do that with the expectation that the evidence will be used in their case, and that it will be handled appropriately and effectively,” said Ilse Knecht, the Joyful Heart Foundation's policy and advocacy director.

...

read more
I AM EVIDENCE – Time For Justice!
December 13, 2017 • HuffPost
Caroline Hart

If you believe in justice for the victims of sexual abuse, then make Mariska Hargitay’s HBO documentary - I AM EVIDENCE - coming to HBO in the next few months - a priority to watch. It will enrage you to know that over 400,000 rape kits in the USA have remained untested, leaving victims without justice and predators on the loose to rape again.

read more
If We Want To Take Sexual Assault Seriously, We Need To Test Thousands Of Rape Kits First
December 10, 2013 • ThinkProgress
Tara Culp-Ressler
Here in the United States, which came first: A victim-blaming rape culture, or a police force that doesn’t take sexual assault cases seriously? It’s a classic chicken-and-egg situation. There’s no right answer. read more
In unusual step, victims told of destroyed NC rape kits
January 1, 2018 • Associated Press
Associated Press

When Veronica was raped more than 13 years ago, she says neither the police nor the hospital staff believed her story that a longtime friend attacked her while his mother was in the next room.

“I was treated like a female crying wolf,” said Veronica, who says the man raped her while she was unconscious. She believes he drugged her drink.

read more

Pages