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Joyful Heart in the News
Money to Address Rape Kit Backlog in Congressional Spending Bill
The $1.1 trillion spending bill released on Tuesday includes $41 million to address the nation’s thousands of untested rape kits that contain DNA evidence, and to provide communities and police departments across the U.S. with resources to test backlogged kits, and investigate and prosecute cases connected to them.
The evidence stored in rape kits can help identify assailants or confirm multiple victims of one known rapist, as well as help to exonerate innocent suspects. An estimated 400,000 untested rape kits remain in police evidence rooms nationwide, the Associated Press reported. In Detroit alone, an estimated 11,341 rape kits are collecting dust in storage units, and in Texas, there are at least 20,000 untested kits.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration pushed for $35 million to help end the backlog of rape kits.
“We cannot allow and will not allow budget cuts to come at the dispense of survivors of sexual assault,” Attorney General Eric Holder said on a call with reporters.