"To me, the rape kit backlog is one of the clearest and most shocking demonstrations of how we regard these crimes in our society. For that reason, the Joyful Heart Foundation and I have made ending it our top priority. Earlier this month, I traveled o Hawai‘i —Joyful Heart's birthplace—to join our partners in this work, learn more about what is happening on the ground, and offer my support and resources to shine a light on this work.
All four of Hawaii’s county police departments have failed to comply with the Sept. 1 deadline.
Mariska Hargitay's full remarks.
Survivor and sexual assault advocate Julie Weil describes what Florida's recently passed sexual assault kit legislation, Florida SB 636, means for survivors who have felt like their voices have not been heard.
The "Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act" is a highly supported piece of Georgia legislation brought by Rep. Scott Holcomb to address the untested rape kit backlog. The House of Representatives passed the bill, unanimously. However, it is now seriously threatened in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
Survivor Brenda Tracy and attorney and advocate Jacqueline Swanson have been working to pass rape kit backlog legislation in Oregon for some time and are overjoyed that Melissa's Law just passed both the Oregon House and Senate with unanimous approval. They describe what this means for survivors across the state.
Cleveland, which is located in Cuyahoga County, has been leading the way in securing cold case convictions after submitting nearly 4,000 backlogged rape kits for testing as part of Ohio's Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative.
The untested kits date back to 1985.
As legislative sessions have come to an end in states across the country, progress has been made in efforts to address the rape kit backlog.
Over the past several weeks, the colors of the ENDTHEBACKLOG map, which demonstrates everything we currently know about the rape kit backlog nationwide, have been changing.