Government Responses

"The groundbreaking initiative we are announcing today is part of the Justice Department's longstanding efforts to support survivors of sexual violence and to bring abusers to justice. For anyone who has felt isolated and afraid, for anyone that has lost faith or lost hope as a result of a sexual crime, this is our pledge to you: we will not forget you. We will not abandon you."
- U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Many officials and lawmakers at all levels of government have begun to undertake rape kit reform efforts. Government responses to help end the backlog have included:

  • Funding for rape kit testing and building crime lab capacity
  • Funding for research to study the causes of a backlog and prevent future backlogs
  • Legislation requiring the counting and tracking of untested rape kits
  • Legislation requiring the testing of all backlogged kits
  • Policies calling for law enforcement to send all kits booked into evidence for testing in a timely manner
  • Establishing specialized police and prosecutor units to investigate cold cases and follow up on leads generated by testing backlogged kits
  • Convening multidisciplinary teams to develop and implement plans for processing untested kits and re-engaging survivors whose kits were part of the backlog

 Learn more about government responses at the federal level, state level and local level.

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