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The Backlog

Tags: rape kit backlog

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.

EndTheBacklogJanuary 14, 2019

Successes in 2018: 18 Laws, 16 States

In 2018, rape kit reform took a tremendous step forward. Survivors, advocates, legislators, and countless others around the country rallied around ending the backlog, investigating cases, and supporting survivors. In 2018, 18 rape kit reform laws were enacted in 16 states. Hawai‘i, our birthplace, and New York, our current home state, both joined Texas in enacting full rape kit reform.

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EndTheBacklogOctober 23, 2018

Georgia Serial Rapist Caught After Backlogged Kits Were Tested

A sexual assault survivor should not have to wait 10 years for their rape kit to be tested, but that happened in a Fulton County, Georgia case. While this kit sat on the shelf, the perpetrator sexually assaulted more people and committed other crimes.

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EndTheBacklogOctober 11, 2018

New Funding Announced to Test Backlogged Kits and Support Survivors

At Joyful Heart, we are a proud partner in the effort to create funding opportunities, like the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), for jurisdictions seeking to address their untested rape kit backlogs. For four years, we have engaged with members of Congress to secure funding for SAKI to support the work being done across the country.

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EndTheBacklogJune 25, 2018

Preventable Crimes in California

The untested rape kit backlog denies justice for sexual assault survivors and communities. For every untested kit, there is a perpetrator who is not held accountable for their crime, free to re-offend and commit other crimes. Keith Asberry, 33, of Antioch, California is one of those offenders.

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EndTheBacklogNovember 17, 2017

Creating A Victim Notification Procedure in Fayetteville

Lieutenant John Somerindyke from the Fayetteville, North Carolina Police Department (FPD) shares the department's efforts to establish a victim notification protocol to re-engage survivors in the criminal justice system. As a 2015 Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grantee, FPD was tasked with testing backlogged rape kits, notifying victims, and investigating cases.

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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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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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EndTheBacklogJanuary 23, 2017

No testing, no pattern. Serial rapist connected to seven assaults in Dallas.

At least seven sexual assaults in Dallas have been connected to one man, Joseph Beaty. Although the first known assault occurred in 2009, and a rape kit was collected, Beaty is only now being prosecuted for his crimes.

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