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 BLOGAugust 28, 2015
This year brought an unprecedented amount of activity at the state level aimed at reforming rape kit policies. In the 2015 session, 46 pieces of legislation that would address how sexual assault kit evidence is handled were introduced in 25 states, and of those, eleven states enacted bills.
THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 27, 2015
Cleveland, Detroit and Memphis are all cities that discovered backlogs of untested rape kits in their jurisdictions, tested those kits and entered the DNA profile into CODIS, the national DNA database. Testing these backlogged rape kits has resulted in the identification of nearly 1,000 potential serial rapists.
THE BACKLOG BLOGJune 26, 2015
It is estimated that only between 2 and 8% of rape accusations are false. Yet rape victims face one of the steepest barriers to being believed by the criminal justice system, and their cases are the least likely of any violent crime to move forward through prosecution. Several news articles over the past few days illustrate just how steep that barrier can be.
THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 13, 2015
A new report produced and distributed by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence outlines some other costs of sexual violence. The document addresses the economic, health care and systems costs associated with sexual violence.
THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 26, 2014
An untested rape kit from 1988 was recently tested in Detroit, leading to the arrest and conviction of serial offender Michael Eugene Swygart. Twenty-five years after the rape took place, Swygart has been sentenced to 40-75 years in prison on charges of criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.