News, media, commentary, testimonials and more in one sortable location.

The Backlog

Tags: state legislation

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.

EndTheBacklogApril 27, 2018

Mid-Year Update: State Legislative Reform in 2018

Enacting Joyful Heart’s six pillars in law is the only way to ensure that neither discretion nor resources can be used any longer as an excuse to deny sexual assault survivors the justice they deserve. Since January 2018, 33 rape kit reform bills have been introduced in 21 states.

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EndTheBacklogApril 3, 2018

Testimony of Sarah Haacke Byrd in California Senate on Rape Kit Reform

Joyful Heart Foundation Managing Director Sarah Haacke Byrd testified today before the California Senate Committee on Public Safety in support of rape kit reform legislation.

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EndTheBacklogAugust 28, 2017

Advocating for Rape Kit Reform at the NCSL Summit

Earlier this month, Joyful Heart’s Policy and Advocacy team attended the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit in Boston. Over the course of three days, we connected with lawmakers and staffers from across the country about how to end the backlog of untested rape kits.

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EndTheBacklogJuly 19, 2017

Rape Kit Tracking System: From Idea to Law

Today’s guest author is Texas State Representative Donna Howard, who has served in the Texas House since 2006, representing District 48 in Travis County. Here, Rep. Howard reflects on the effort to pass H.B. 281, which established a statewide tracking system for rape kits. She writes today’s blog to inspire legislators and advocates across the country.

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EndTheBacklogJuly 17, 2017

State Coalitions and Survivor-Centered Policies

Today’s guest author is Chris Kaiser, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Texas recently became the first state in the nation to enact all of our six legislative pillars of rape kit reform. Here, Chris shares TAASA’s advocacy efforts to enact a statewide tracking system and ensure policies are survivor-centered.

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EndTheBacklogMarch 8, 2017

Joyful Heart Foundation: Utah is a Model of Bipartisan Cooperation on Rape Kit Reform

H.B. 200, which has now passed both houses of the Utah state legislature, mandates the testing of all rape kits, requires annual reporting on the processing of rape kits, and authorizes the development of a statewide kit tracking system with a victim portal.

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EndTheBacklogFebruary 16, 2017

24 States Introduce Rape Kit Reform Bills

Most states around the country kicked off their legislative sessions last month, and we have already seen a unprecedented flurry of legislative activity to end the backlog: 47 rape kit reform bills have been introduced across 24 states.

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EndTheBacklogJanuary 23, 2017

Changing the Culture: Voices on Rape Kit Reform in Kentucky

Last week, we were able to sit down for a conversation with State Senator Denise Harper Angel and Michelle Kuiper, two extraordinary leaders in the rape kit reform effort in Kentucky.

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