Mariska Hargitay testifies before Congress on the rape kit backlog.
On May 20, 2010, Mariska testified before the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the backlog of untested rape kits in this country.
"We have real-world examples that testing all rape kits brings results. More than a decade ago, New York City tested sixteen thousand kits and eliminated its backlog. The City implemented a new policy of testing every booked rape kit. The arrest rate for rape skyrocketed from 40% to 70% of reported cases, the highest rate in the nation.
"Yet the benefit of testing rape kits goes beyond providing prosecutors with investigative tools to bring offenders to justice. It goes beyond introducing the clarity of DNA evidence into the arena of rape and sexual assault, the crimes with the lowest reporting, arrest, and prosecution rates in the United States. These kits represent human beings who have suffered greatly. Testing their rape kits sends victims the fundamental and crucial message that they and their cases matter.
- Mariska Hargitay
To read Mariska's full remarks, click here.