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The Backlog

ENDTHEBACKLOG Blog

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 BLOGJune 26, 2015

News Roundup: The High Barriers to Justice

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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGApril 1, 2015

Reform Is Happening

With its $35 million investment, the New York District Attorney’s Office will help communities achieve the results that rape kit testing has shown to bring time and time again: safety, justice and healing.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 13, 2015

Beyond the Backlog: The Costs of Sexual Violence

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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 9, 2015

Ending the Backlog in Ohio: Senator Capri Cafaro

With the passage of Ohio’s new rape kit testing bill—signed into law in December—we are highlighting Ohio State Senator Capri Cafaro, the legislation’s sponsor, as today’s Featured Reformer.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 3, 2015

Cold Case Convictions: Cleveland

In Cleveland, five cold cases involving two perpetrators have been solved as a result of DNA evidence found in previously untested rape kits.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 26, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Detroit

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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 21, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Tennessee

This week in our Cold Case Convictions series, where we highlight cases in which the testing of rape kits years later helps bring perpetrators to justice, we turn to Tennessee.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 30, 2014

Justice for All: Testing Rape Kits in LGBT Cases

We often hear a variety of reasons why all kits should not be tested. A recent explanation, however, was one we had not heard before. In listing instances in which kits were not sent for testing, documents from one department stated, “No male suspect.” Upon further investigation, we learned this notation meant the case was “a female on female sex crime.”

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