MSNBC to Focus on Rape Kit Backlog in Week-Long Segment

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2014
Contact: Melissa Schwartz, 

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider and vote on its FY15 spending bill for Commerce, Justice, and Science this week. In it, the House includes $36 million to address the rape kit backlog in police storage facilities. This Justice Department allocation provides dedicated funding for competitive grants that will provide communities across the country with the vital resources they need – and are asking for – to support multi-disciplinary community response teams tasked with developing and implementing comprehensive rape kit reform.

This week, MSNBC's Ronan Farrow Daily (1-2pm ET) will focus on efforts to end the backlog in segments running from today through Friday. The broadcasts will direct viewers to, the Joyful Heart Foundation's website dedicated to shining a light on and ending the rape kit backlog nationwide. includes an interactive map displaying everything we know and do not know about where the backlog exists, an extensive media and resource archive of news and reporting about the backlog from across the country, and more.

Today's segment will kick off the week's programming, and feature Sarah Tofte, Joyful Heart's Vice President of Policy & Advocacy and a national expert on the backlog. We cannot know the exact size of the backlog because few jurisdictions count or track their untested kits. Tofte will announce a new project, through a partnership with Goodwin Procter LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, to get more detailed information from local jurisdictions.

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The mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

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