JHF's Annual Gala features powerful stories of backlog's impact

As part of Joyful Heart Foundation's 6th Annual Gala, Audrey Polk took to the stage to share her story. A sister and a mother, she is also a survivor of rape. One night in 1997, Audrey awoke to a stranger raping her while children laid frozen in the bed next to her. She went through a rape kit exam and reported her rape to the police. She said, “I called the police over and over to find out who did this to me, and they had nothing to say. So I stopped calling.” Her rape kit would languish in Detroit’s backlog of 11,000 untested kits for 14 years, until her kit was finally tested and her rapist sent to prison for the next 30 to 50 years. This is the power of rape kit testing. And it’s the goal of our Policy & Advocacy team to get every single rape kit off police and crime lab shelves.

As part of this, we are conducting critical research on how jurisdictions across the country notify victims of the status of their cases and their rape kits. We will use this research and release it to agencies around the country to end the backlog with reforms that are just, compassionate and survivor-centered.

To read more about Joyful Heart's event, click here.

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