West Virginia

Backlog Snapshot

West Virginia
Untested Kits:

2,400*

Testing:

In Progress

Does West Virginia...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
No, the state has not committed to testing.
Test newly collected rape kits?
No, the state has not mandated testing.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Yes.
Track rape kits?
No tracking system exists.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
No.

*Partial count of the total rape kit backlog, based on funding awarded by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 2015

Learn more about how we track reform

West Virginia law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits. 

In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory $1,763,281 to test 2,400 rape kits. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services (DJCS) $1,170,800 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. In 2016, the BJA awarded DJCS an additional $1,000,000 to sustain this work.

In 2018, West Virginia legislators enacted a law directing the Sexual Assault Forensic Commission to establish best practice protocols for handling rape kits, including timeframes for submission and storage. Legislators also introduced a bill to grant sexual assault survivors the right to notice regarding rape kit testing status and results, which failed to pass. Additionally in 2018, BJA awarded the DJCS an additional $996,678 to continue their work. 

In 2019, West Virginia legislators enacted a law creating the Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights. This law grants sexual assault victims the right to: have their kit tested; be informed by law enforcement of any results of their medical forensic examination; be informed of evidence preservation policies; be notified by mail, upon written request, 60 days before intended destruction of the kit; and upon written request, have their kit preserved for up to an additional 10 years. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO WEST VIRGINIA

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