Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Rape Kit Backlog

Our efforts to end the backlog of untested rape kits, the collection of evidence from victims’ bodies that wait to be tested in police and crime lab storage facilities throughout the country, are part of a larger movement to change the response to sexual violence in the United States–one that recognizes the importance of justice and healing and one that demonstrates to survivors that each and every one of their experiences and cases is important.

April 1 marked the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM for our Twitter followers). You can read a message from Joyful Heart’s Executive Director, Maile Zambuto, on the Joyful Heart Blog here.

At the beginning of every week here on the Backlog Blog, we are going to be sharing with you some statistics about the nature of sexual violence and the response to sexual violence. We start today with some commonly cited numbers many of you might already have seen.

  • Every 2 minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. That’s 248,700 victims in a year. (Source: RAINN)
  • Only 30% of sexual assaults are ever reported to the police (Source: RAINN). Even so, that means somebody reports a forcible rape every 6 minutes in this country (Source: FBI).
  • The majority (73%) of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victims knows or is acquainted with. 40% of sexual assaults take place in the home. (Source: RAINN)

Please share with your community and loved ones and check back here next week for more numbers and some indicators of the response to sexual violence.

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