Since 2014, Joyful Heart has worked in partnership with pro bono law firm Goodwin LLP to uncover the number of untested rape kits in cities across the country through The Accountability Project. Using public records requests, we have uncovered more than 34,000 untested rape kits to date.
Earlier this month, we released information from 11 agencies—uncovering more than 1,000 untested kits—and documentation about sexual assault investigation procedures and lab turnaround times.
We thank these jurisdictions for responding to our requests for information. Please visit each of the city pages linked below for more information.
We are committed to shedding light on the true extent of the backlog, working to get every untested kit off the shelf and into the lab, taking dangerous offenders off the streets, and helping bring justice and healing to survivors whose cases have languished for years—or even decades. Stay tuned for more news from The Accountability Project in the coming weeks.
You can help end the backlog today, right now. As state legislators across the country finalize their advocacy priorities for 2017, urge yours to keep rape kit reform at the top of their list.
-By Ilse Knecht, Joyful Heart Foundation Director of Policy and Advocacy, February 21, 2017
END THE BACKLOG is an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation to shine a light on the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the United States. Our goal is to end this injustice by conducting groundbreaking research identifying the extent of the nation’s backlog and best practices for eliminating it, expanding the national dialogue on rape kit testing through increased public awareness, engaging communities and government agencies and officials and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation and policies at the local, state and federal levels. We urge you to learn more about the backlog, where it exists and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support efforts to test rape kits. Help us send the message that we must take rape seriously.