The Backlog:

Washington

We do not currently know the full size of the rape kit backlog in Washington, although the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) is currently conducting a statewide audit of unprocessed sexual assault kits. As of March 2015, a total of 6,000 untested kits have been reported so far. Legislation mandating testing guidelines was passed in 2015, and additional legislation is currently pending.

In May 2015, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a new law that requires law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits for testing within 30 days of receipt and establishes a task force to develop a response plan to address the backlog in the state.

In 2016, legislators in Washington introduced two pieces of legislation that would build upon the 2015 law: HB-2530 and SB-6484. Both bills would establish a statewide rape kit tracking system with mandatory participation, and would require a budget submission to increase capacity by 2020 for testing evidence in all crimes against persons. The bill would also establish a training grant for law enforcement investigators and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) and create a fee on strip clubs that would pay for the aforementioned training and testing of kits.

If passed, Washington would join a growing number of states all across the country continuing real reforms to end the backlog.

Join us and take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.

  • Backlog Status

Count
Partially Counted
Testing
Testing Status Unknown
Resolved
Unknown
Size
6,000*

As of March 2015, as reported by The Bellingham Herald

  • Reform Status

Tracking Testing Victim Notification
No Known Reform
Reform in Progress
Partial Reform
Complete Reform
  • Additional Information

Through The Accountability Project, we discovered Seattle's backlog of 1,276 untested kits.

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