Does Virginia law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Yes – One-Time
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
In 2014, Virginia enacted a law that required law enforcement agencies to report the number of untested rape kits in their possession to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS). In 2015, the DFS reported at least 2,369 untested rape kits in Virginia. Virginia law does not require law enforcement to track rape kits.
In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia $1,399,989 to test 2,034 rape kits.
In 2016, Virginia enacted a law requiring law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits to the Department of Forensic Science within 60 days, and for reported kits to be kept for at least 10 years. The law also gives victims the right to request information about the status and results of the testing of their rape kits.
In 2016, the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia $1,999,954 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.
In 2017, Virginia legislators introduced multiple rape kit reform bills:
- S.B. 1501, which would grant victims whose kits were collected before the 2016 mandatory testing law went into effect the right to be informed of the location and status of their rape kits.
- H.B. 2127, which would grant victims the right to have their anonymous kits held for longer, the right to extended storage of their kits before destruction, the right to notification in advance of planned destruction, and the right to information regarding the timeframes of kit retention and storage.
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