The following stories are from survivors who share the impact the rape kit backlog has had on their lives. Some stories may surface feelings, thoughts or memories that could be uncomfortable. Please know that reactions such as the ones described above are common and if you are feeling overwhelmed with the information, we encourage you to listen to your intuition as to when and how much of this content is helpful for you to read at this time.
"For my 17th birthday, in 1996, my mom gave me a vintage VW Rabbit. Days later, at a self-service car wash practically in view of my home, a stranger approached me and forced me into the car at knife point, instructed me to drive to several locations, and repeatedly assaulted me."
"I am sometimes overwhelmed by the knowledge that my attacker could have been caught eight years earlier, and how many others could have been saved from the same fate if that 2001 rape kit had been tested. How many perpetrators could be taken off the streets, how many lives could be saved the lifelong trauma a sexual assault inflicts, if we could get the backlogged rape kits tested? I have three little girls and I want the world to be a safer place for them than it was for me."
"Behind the rape kit backlog is cultural misunderstanding of sexual assault. Too often, victims who report to law enforcement are belittled, harassed, disbelieved, dismissed."
"I wanted to share my story, to help add a sense of reality of the impact of the backlog on rape victims."
"In 1993 I was violently raped, sodomized and robbed at gunpoint by an unknown assailant. When I escaped and thankfully found myself in my apartment, my roommate insisted that I go to the hospital. I agreed to wait for an ambulance, even though my first instinct was to take a shower. I am so very grateful today that I made that choice."
"After this experience, I don’t feel safe anymore. I am a tough girl, but it made me feel like if something happened, the law isn’t there for me. It doesn’t really work."