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.
WSVN reports that the Hollywood, FL PD has uncovered a backlog of 94 untested rape kits in their storage facilities dating back to at least 2005.
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. They overcome the terrible, misplaced social stigma of being the victim of sexual violence. They overcome the warnings sometimes uttered by the rapist to keep silent. They overcome the suggestions that these issues ought not to be spoken of, and they speak up.
The forensic examination of their bodies, the crime scene, typically takes four to six hours, and yields what is called a rape kit. And experts estimate there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting untested throughout the country.