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The Backlog

ENDTHEBACKLOG 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 ENDTHEBACKLOG 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.

EndTheBacklogApril 1, 2011

Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Rape Kit Backlog

Our efforts to end the backlog of untested rape kits, the collection of evidence from victims’ bodies that wait to be tested in police and crime lab storage facilities throughout the country, are part of a larger movement to change the response to sexual violence in the United States–one that recognizes the importance of justice and healing and one that demonstrates to survivors that each and every one of their experiences and cases is important.

Blog

EndTheBacklogApril 1, 2011

Justice Requires Rape-Kit Testing: A Rebuttal

In February, Women’s eNews ran a commentary by Wendy Murphy which argued that testing the backlog of rape kits– the evidence collected from victims’ bodies that is waiting to be tested in storage facilities across the United States–is a waste of resources and violates the privacy of victims.

Last month, former New York City chief sex crimes prosecutor, best-selling author and Joyful Heart board member Linda Fairstein wrote a brilliant rebuttal in response to Murphy’s piece published in The Daily Beast.

Blog

EndTheBacklogMarch 18, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Wants To Head Off Crime Lab Backlog, Fund New Analyst Positions

With many states struggling to foot the bill to end backlogs of untested evidence including rape kits in crime labs, Wisconsin is poised to take steps to prevent bottlenecks from occurring in the future. The state, which was overwhelmed by testing needs for much of the last decade, seemed to have recently got its historic backlog under control, but it is unclear if a secondary backlog has developed.

Blog

EndTheBacklogMarch 15, 2011

A Well-Deserved Day of Awareness and Expression

One of Endhtebacklog.org’s policy focuses is on ensuring healing and justice for survivors of sexual assault. There’s a lot of people behind this effort and we have tremendous respect for the work of those who help others cope with trauma. This work is not always easy. Today Chris Vargo, Joyful Heart’s New York Manager of Programs shares a bit about vicarious trauma and Joyful Heart’s Heal the Healers program.

Blog

EndTheBacklogMarch 11, 2011

Huffington Post Names Amy Ernst “Greatest Woman of the Day”

In January, we ran our first Global Dispatch, a recurring feature in which Joyful Heart Foundation showcases the stories of those working around the world to ensure justice and healing for survivors of sexual assault. The first Global Dispatch came from Amy Ernst, a volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country she says is often referred to as “the worst place on earth to be a woman,” where rape is frequently used as a weapon of war. Despite the violence in the region, Amy says she finds hope in the way women create a community of family, strength, love and laughter.

Blog

ENDTHEBACKLOGMarch 11, 2011

NYCAASA’s 2011 Lydia Martinez Collaboration Awards

The Lydia Martinez Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration Awards were presented to five recipients in honor of the late First Grade Detective C. Lydia Martinez, a remarkable Special Victims Detective in New York City. I had the privilege of meeting Lydia and the strength, compassion and light that emanated from her were incredible. On Monday, her colleagues and friends, many of whom filled the room in which we were sitting, spoke about the indelible effect she had on their lives, the lives of the survivors she served and on the city’s collective response to sexual assault by law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates and medical personnel.

Event

ENDTHEBACKLOGMarch 7, 2011

Interview with Linda Fairstein: Part 3

This is last installment of my three-part interview with bestselling crime novelist, former Sex Crimes Unit chief prosecutor of the New York County District Attorney and advocate for rape kit reform, Linda Fairstein.

First Person

ENDTHEBACKLOGMarch 7, 2011

Interview with Linda Fairstein: Part 2

They say to write about what you know and Linda Fairstein, the former New York County District Attorney Special Victims Unit Chief Prosecutor certainly knows the subjects that she fills her pages with. In this part of our interview, continued from our post on Friday, Fairstein talks to me about the evolution of the rape kit, what it was like to be prosecuting cases as the science around DNA was beginning to take hold and her thoughts on the backlog of untested rape kits.

First Person

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