Media Archive by Topic: rape kit backlog

Titlesort descending
Rape kits get DNA upgrade, 'SVU' star
October 22nd, 2009 • NY Post
Bill Sanderson
Two decades after their first use in New York emergency rooms, rape testing kits are being updated for the DNA age. read more
Rape survivors face resistance in fight to test rape kit backlog
May 29, 2014 • MSNBC
Meredith Clark
After San Francisco resident Heather Marlowe was drugged and raped at the city’s annual Bay to Breakers race in May 2010, she trusted local police to process her rape kit–the evidence collected during a forensic exam–and update her if any leads turned up. When they didn’t call for more than a year, she began researching why. read more
Rape Victims Sue Police Over Decade-Long Rape Kit Backlog
December 27, 2013 • Mint Press News
Katie Rucke
A lawsuit accuses the Memphis Police Department of a history of discriminating against females. read more
Rape, suspended in time
September 7, 2015 • Las Vegas Sun
Megan Messerly
Hoping to bring closure to victims, Las Vegas fighting to analyze thousands of backlogged rape kits that have been in storage for decades. read more
Rebuttal: Justice Requires Rape-Kit Testing
April 4th, 2011 • Women's eNews
Sarah Tofte
In February Women's eNews ran a commentary by Wendy Murphy about excessive attention being paid to a backlog of untested rape kits. Here Sarah Tofte offers a vigorous rebuttal, told in part through the tribulations of one young woman. read more
San Francisco Police Make Progress on Backlog of Untested Rape Kits
Dec. 12, 2014 • CBS San Francisco
CBS San Francisco Staff
The San Francisco Police Department announced this week that it has cleared a backlog of sexual assault kits dating back more than 10 years. read more
Schimel: Flood Of Submissions Slowing Sexual Asssault Kit Testing
December 6, 2017 • Associated Press
Associated Press

Attorney General Brad Schimel says a glut of submissions nationwide is slowing progress on analyzing thousands of untested sexual assault kits on Wisconsin police department shelves.

The Joyful Heart Foundation has been pushing states to analyze untested kits in hopes of developing DNA profiles for serial offenders.

read more
Senate Delay Threatens Funding for Thousands of Untested Rape
June 23, 2014 • Autostraddle
Kaitlyn
It’s a problem of unknown magnitude — recent estimates place the numbersomewhere around 100,000 — but the consequences of the nationwide rape kit testing backlog are clear and appalling. read more
Some advocates believe rape kit testing should not be left to law enforcement’s discretion
Nov. 9, 2015 • Idaho Press-Tribune
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
SPD Leaves most Rape Kit Evidence on the Shelf
Nov. 25, 2014 • King 5 News
Linda Byron
The Seattle Police Department's records show that in a little over a decade, 1,641 rape kits were booked into evidence. But only 365 of kits were tested, just 22% of the total. read more
Spending Bill Includes $41 Million to Help Rape Victims
Dec. 12, 2014 • ABC 2 WMAR Baltimore
WMAR Staff
Lawmakers have allocated $41 million to help rape victims as part of the $1.1 trillion spending plan approved by Congress Thursday night. read more
State Attorney's Office receives $2 million federal grant to clear rape test-kit backlog
September 10, 2015 • jacksonville.com
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
States fight rape kit backlog
February 25, 2014 • MSNBC
Erin Delmore
States across the country are proposing and enacting legislation to tackle the estimated 400,000 untested rape kits nationwide. read more
SVU's Mariska Hargitay on Vice President Joe Biden's Guest Role and THAT Premiere Shocker
September 21, 2016 • People
Lanford Beard

Mariska Hargitay has had to portray a lock of terrifying, disturbing scenarios in 17 seasons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but the actress and mother of three was especially impacted by one shocking scene in the season 18 premiere. 

read more
Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights
Sarah Haacke Byrd
Statement for the record for Sarah Haacke Byrd, Managing Director for the Joyful Heart Foundation before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. read more
Tempe sending around 500 sexual-assault kits, some dating to the early '90s, for testing
June 8, 2016 • AZ Central
Chris Coppola
The kits are being tested because they never were submitted or need to be checked again with new methods. read more
Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA
July 16, 2015 • USA Today
Steve Reilly
A nationwide count by USA TODAY reveals abandoned rape kit evidence. read more
The risk we take with Charlotte’s rape kit backlog
June 29, 2015 • The Charlotte Observer
Maile M. Zambuto
From Maile M. Zambuto, Chief Executive Officer of the Joyful Heart Foundation, and Monika Johnson Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, read more
The science of stopping sex crimes
September 4, 2013 • Minnesota City Pages
Judy Keen
In the quest to catch violent perps, rape kits can be a key ally – but only if they're tested. read more
The story behind the first rape kit
Nov. 21, 2015 • CNN
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
The War on Drugs Could Be Making Our Communities More Dangerous
November 8, 2015 • Vice News
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.

read more
There Are 400,000 Unprocessed Rape Kits in the U.S. How Can This Be?
March 12, 2014 • Slate
Katy Waldman
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden announced a White House proposal to pour $35 million into testing backlogged rape kits and bringing sex offenders to justice. read more
This is why thousands of Minnesota rape kits go untested
Nov. 13, 2015 • St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.

read more
Thousands of Untested Rape Kits in Memphis Endanger Public
September 8, 2013 • Nonprofit Quarterly
Ruth McCambridge
For anyone who has worked on issues of violence against women, this should serve as a wake-up call that the work is far from done. For anyone who works on social change, it serves as a reminder that monitoring implementation of hard-won laws is critical. read more
Thousands of untested rape kits lying in storage in Detroit
February 18, 2013 • Canadian Broadcast Radio
Pacinthe Mattar
A disturbing story about law and order today. In the city of Detroit, the woman who holds the job of Chief Prosecutor discovered that thousands of sexual assault cases have been in limbo for decades because evidence from so-called rape kits is languishing on forgotten shelves. It is not a problem unique to Detroit, but it is one that has seen serial rapists, and even murderers, exist undetected for years. read more

Pages