Federal Government Boosts Rape Kit Reform Efforts

The movement to end the untested rape kit backlog got a significant boost from the federal government this month when it issued the first-ever national guidelines for handling rape kits.

Testimony of Mariska Hargitay in U.S. Congress on National Rape Kit Reform

Joyful Heart Foundation Founder and President Mariska Hargitay testified on Capitol Hill June 16, 2017 before the new Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence about the national rape kit backlog.

Joyful Heart Foundation Applauds $38 Million Awarded to Support Comprehensive Rape Kit Reform

The federal government announces more than $38 million in grants to support community-based rape kit reform efforts.

Statements for the Senate Judiciary Hearing, "Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights"

Sarah Haacke Byrd is testifying before the hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, “Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights.” Her testimony, here.

House of Representatives Committee Includes Full Funding for Rape Kit Reform

The Joyful Heart Foundation today praised the House Committee on Appropriations’ inclusion of $41 million in funding for the Justice Department’s community-based sexual assault response initiative in their FY16 Commerce, Justice and Science funding bill.

Department of Justice Releases Solicitations for New Rape Kit Reform Initiative

Today, the Joyful Heart Foundation welcomed the U.S. Department of Justice's release of two solicitations for funding to address the growing backlog of sexual assault kits at law enforcement agencies.

A Watershed Moment to End the Backlog

This week, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced $35 million in funding for jurisdictions to test backlogged rape kits—the single largest financial contribution toward ending the rape kit backlog.

Remarks of Mariska Hargitay on Manhattan DA's New Initiative to Help End the Rape Kit Backlog

The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages: to victims, it says: you don't matter. What happened to you doesn't matter. And to criminals, it says: what you did doesn't matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.

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