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The Backlog

Tags: federal government

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.

THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 6, 2014

Exciting News from the White House

For the first time, the White House has dedicated funding that will provide cities across the country with the vital resources they need to help end the nationwide rape kit backlog.

News

THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 23, 2014

The White House Report: A Commitment, a Call to Action and a Look at the Work that Remains

Yesterday's report on sexual assault from the White House demonstrates the Administration's deep commitment to ending sexual violence and improving the responses of our government, our criminal justice system, our schools and our communities, but also identifies that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGDecember 20, 2013

What the Numbers - and Lack Thereof - Really Tell Us

When the team at Joyful Heart began gathering data for the new interactive map on endthebacklog.org, illustrating everything we know about the rape kit backlog, we worried that the map might be a bit bare. Looking now at the final version of the map, the results are actually very powerful.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 4, 2013

Texas Estimates 20,000 Untested Rape Kits Statewide

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) estimates there are 20,000 untested rape kits sitting in police storage facilities across the state, according to a January, 3, 2013 article in The New York Times.

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EndTheBacklogSeptember 28, 2012

SAFER Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act received unanimous support and passed out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee last week. The bipartisan bill would provide state and local governments with funding to conduct one-year audits of the untested sexual assault evidence in their possession and create a national registry to help track those audits. The SAFER Act would also amend current law to require that a greater percentage of Debbi Smith Act grant money is spent directly on analyzing untested DNA evidence.

News

EndTheBacklogJuly 19, 2012

Join Joyful Heart in Supporting the SAFER Act

Along with other survivor advocacy organizations, including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV), the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), Healing Exists After Rape Trauma (HEART) and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), Joyful Heart supports the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry Act of 2012 (SAFER Act), S.3250. The SAFER Act, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), will help state and local law enforcement agencies to end both crime lab and police storage rape kit backlogs.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGDecember 27, 2011

FBI Will Update Its Definition of Rape

FBI Director Robert Mueller has announced that the agency will update its definition of rape, taking effect in the spring of 2012. The FBI currently defines rape as the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” As we have noted before, experts consider this definition to be too narrow, and it leads to the under-reporting of thousands of sexual assaults across the U.S. each year.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGDecember 6, 2011

The 400 Project Leads to Multiple Charges Against Detroit Man

During a 2010 audit of the Detroit crime lab, which was shut down in 2008 due to testing irregularities, officials discovered approximately 11,000 untested rape kits in Detroit storage facilities. Following the discovery, a collaborative team of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, researchers and victim advocates came together to work toward eliminating the backlog.

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