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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.
A woman who waited five years for charges to be filed against her alleged rapist is suing the city of Houston, accusing authorities of showing "deliberate indifference" by failing to investigate a backlog of rape kits that could have identified her attacker much earlier.
Beverly Flores last week joined a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in September by another former Houston resident, DeJenay Beckwith. The two women seek damages, saying officials violated their due process and equal protection rights.
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.
There are 5,396 sexual assault kits held in police custody that have not been tested, according to the results of an Indiana State Police audit.
State senators had adopted a resolution in April that urged State Police to count the number of untested sexual assault kits throughout the state and determine reasons why they were not tested.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office says it hopes to determine by early next year how many untested rape kits are on shelves in Missouri, a first step in an effort to improve the state's response to sexual assault.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a proposal to overhaul the state's policy for tracking and testing rape kits.
The proposal was adopted as an amendment to the criminal justice reform bill passed Tuesday night. House Minority Leader Bradley Jones Jr. proposed the amendment, which calls for the creation of a rape kit tracking system with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
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.
If you were to watch almost any episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” it’s likely that some form of sexual assault would take place, the victim would be given a rape kit at the hospital, and the dedicated detectives investigating would send the kit off to be tested for DNA evidence.
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.
Henrietta Sykes had all but given up on the arrest of the man who allegedly assaulted her. But when officials in her small town uncovered a dirty secret, they were finally able to give her—and hundreds of other women—the justice she deserved.