Joyful Heart in the News

Rape, suspended in time

September 7, 2015
Las Vegas Sun
Megan Messerly

It’s 1985 or 2015; morning or night; summer or winter. She could be your sister, your mother, your daughter, your friend.

An assault happens.

Friends urge her to go to the hospital to be examined. She does.

She undresses on a sheet of paper and turns her clothes in to be tested and used as evidence. Her body is examined, scrutinized; every bruise, every mark noted. She is swabbed for vital pieces of evidence. Pictures are taken.

The nurse and victim advocate speak gently to her, but all she can think about is showering and putting on new clothes. The exam takes four hours.

The kit is sealed, turned over to police and stored as evidence. But it never gets tested.

This is the story of tens of thousands of survivors of sexual assault whose rape kits sit untested in evidence lockers across the country as the assailants go free.


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