Virginia

Backlog Snapshot

Virginia
Untested Kits:

2,369*

Testing:

In Progress

Does Virginia...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
Yes, testing in progress.
Test newly collected rape kits?
Yes, all newly collected kits are being tested.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Yes.
Track rape kits?
Yes, tracking system in process.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
No.

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. 

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 enacted two rape kit reform laws. The first grants victims whose kits were collected before July 2016 the right to be informed of the location and status of their rape kits. The second grants 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.

In March 2019, the Office of the Attorney General announced 1,770 kits had been tested with the funds from the 2015 award from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. 

In 2019, Virginia legislators established a statewide electronic tracking system for physical evidence recovery kits by enacting H.B. 2080. The tracking system will assign each kit a unique identification number and will be available to survivors, as well as health care providers, law enforcement agencies, the division, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to update statuses and locations of kits.

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING FURTHER RAPE KIT REFORM TO VIRGINIA

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