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Texas Chief Investigator and Sexual Assault Investigation Trainer, Wayne Springer, says an officer’s job is to collect and send the facts, not pass judgment. “This is the only crime you'll ever see that the victim becomes the accused almost instantly,” Springer explains.
A new public service announcement is shining a much-needed light on the thousands of rape kits that go untested every year in the U.S.
The Joyful Heart Foundation, which created the PSA, estimates that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting untested in law enforcement facilities around the country due to the lack of resources and funding. “Shelved” lays out in 60 seconds the far-reaching impacts of this backlog.
Joyful Heart launched today a new national PSA campaign, Shelved, to raise awareness about the untested rape kit backlog and engage the public in helping us solve this problem. Through this campaign, we are seeking to activate grassroots support for our work in state capitols around the country to change the way rape kits are handled, expand survivors’ rights, and ensure every single kit is tested. Every single kit, in every state.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is contracting with two more private labs to analyze untested sexual assault kits.
The Joyful Heart Foundation has been pushing states to analyze untested kits in hopes of developing DNA profiles for serial offenders. Nearly 4,000 Wisconsin kits have been designated for testing. Analysis has been completed on 862 kits so far.
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.
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.
When Mariska Hargitay landed the role of Detective Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she had no idea that it would turn her into an activist for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. But in 2017, almost two decades after the long-running show began, she’s helped spearhead a mission to eliminate the rape-kit backlog in the U.S. — and has produced a documentary with HBO and her former SVU coworker Trish Adlesic called “I Am Evidence” that helps bring the issue to light.