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The Backlog

END THE BACKLOG Media Center

Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the END THE BACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.

EndTheBacklogJune 16, 2017

Testimony of Mariska Hargitay in U.S. Congress on National Rape Kit Reform

Joyful Heart Foundation Founder and President Mariska Hargitay testified on Capitol Hill June 16, 2017 before the new Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence about the national rape kit backlog.

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EndTheBacklogMay 12, 2017

Coming Together for Rape Kit Reform in Oklahoma

Danielle Tudor is a survivor and advocate from Oklahoma who has worked on rape kit reform legislation across multiple states. Here, Danielle shares her experience collaborating with stakeholders and elected officials, and, as a member of the task force, her hopes for further reform.

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EndTheBacklogMay 8, 2017

Justice Delayed: 20 Years Later, a Conviction

On August 30, 1997, an 18-year-old woman was walking home from a friend’s house in Columbus, Ohio when a stranger violently attacked and raped her. Last month, 20 years after the attack, Joseph E. Carter was finally convicted for rape.

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EndTheBacklogApril 17, 2017

Four Myths About the Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

This Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are challenging the myths that stand as obstacles to meaningful rape kit reform.

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EndTheBacklogApril 17, 2017

Kansas Working Group as a Model for Successful Collaboration

Katie Whisman leads the Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a statewide multidisciplinary working group tasked with addressing the state’s existing backlog and developing standardized practices to improve the handling of rape kits. Here, Katie shares her experiences with the group, whose successes include achieving 100 percent law enforcement agency participation in a voluntary statewide audit of unsubmitted rape kits.

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EndTheBacklogMarch 29, 2017

The Accountability Project: Cities Hinder Efforts to Shed Light on Untested Rape Kits

Over the past three years, we have used public records requests to uncover nearly 39,000 untested rape kits in 41 jurisdictions across 28 states. Today, we are releasing information from cities that have not responded or have not fully responded to our requests. Despite years of effort, and multiple attempts, these cities have refused or ignored our requests for information—or have outright admitted that they don't know the extent of their rape kit backlogs—and have not taken any steps to start counting.

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EndTheBacklogMarch 16, 2017

Legislators Must Fund Rape Kit Reform

As a growing number of states seek to address their backlogs, some legislators have embraced creative approaches to finding funding for rape kit reform. While states can consider alternate funding measures to support public safety, it remains the duty of the legislature to use general funds to correct the injustice of untested rape kits.

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EndTheBacklogMarch 16, 2017

Guest Post: My Journey from Survivor to Survivor Advocate

Survivor advocate Michelle Kuiper is a powerful advocate for rape kit reform in Kentucky and across the country. Here, she shares her journey and provides useful advocacy tips for survivors who want to take action.

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