In order to end the rape kit backlog in the United States and ensure that it never recurs, state and federal rape kit policies must change. Progress on rape kit reform is happening. Be a part of it.
Cities and states are going into their storage facilities and counting their rape kits to assess whether they have a backlog. Jurisdictions with backlogs are finding the resources to test their rape kits, changing their policies to prevent future backlogs, and devoting the resources necessary to fully investigate all leads from rape kit testing. State legislatures are introducing and enacting laws that require statewide tracking and testing of rape kits. The federal government is offering leadership, resources and research to fix the problem, making the reduction and elimination of the nationwide rape kit backlog a priority.
But we need your help. Our leadership in the federal government and in state capitols throughout the country need to hear from their constituents about the value of tracking untested rape kits, testing every rape kit, investigating every rape case and prosecuting every offender.
UPDATE (December 22, 2014): We are thrilled to announce that the spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President earlier this month includes the $41 million we have all fought for to address the nation’s rape kit backlog.
This new community-based sexual assault response initiative at the Justice Department will provide local communities resources to: test backlogged kits in their police storage facilities; create multi-disciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute cases connected to the backlog; and address the need for victim notification and re-engagement with the criminal justice system.
Your support and advocacy on this issue has been so important to this work – we know that we would not be here without your more than 3,000 letters to Members of Congress, and hundreds of thousands of posts via social media encouraging members to fight for this investment.
Please join us in:
- Thanking the congressional leaders who worked to bring this funding to the finish line using the sample tweets below or your own personal message using the #endthebacklog hashtag:
- Sending a brief note to your Members of Congress to acknowledge the importance of this much-needed funding
This critical funding will give hope to the countless sexual assault survivors whose rape kits sit untested on shelves in police storage facilities across the country. Dedicated funding to support communities in their work to address their backlogs and move those cases forward to prosecution is a relief to public officials committed to comprehensive reform.
It is the funding they need to uphold their commitment to pursue every lead from testing rape kits, reform their criminal justice response to rape, engage survivors in the process and bring offenders to justice.
Your state officials still need to hear your voice. Write to them and urge them to end the backlog. Get started below: