We sometimes hear from jurisdictions that they don’t consider the untested rape kits in their storage facilities to be part of a backlog—that officials actively chose not to test those kits. These jurisdictions fail to see the value of testing every kit booked into evidence, particularly when the identity of the perpetrator is known.
At the Joyful Heart Foundation, we join experts in this work to roundly dispute the idea that there are kits that do not require testing.
We believe each kit represents a survivor who underwent the four-to-six-hour rape kit collection process and reported the rape to the police. Each kit represents a survivor who deserves to have that kit tested, and who deserves justice.
And yet, hundreds of thousands of times, a decision is made not to process the evidence. In fact, many of these survivors never receive any follow-up information after filing the initial police report.
We are deeply committed to working with every interested partner to help find the necessary resources, to implement best practices and to enact comprehensive reform that will end the backlog of untested rape kits.