ENDING THE RAPE KIT BACKLOG
- When tested, DNA evidence contained inside rape kits is an invaluable investigative tool to solve and prevent crime. It can identify an unknown assailant, reveal serial offenders, and bring opportunities for justice and healing to survivors.
- To accomplish these things, however, rape kits must be tested. Each kit is an invaluable investigative tool to solve and prevent crime. It can identify an unknown assailant, reveal serial offenders, and bring opportunities for justice and healing to survivors.
- The rape kit backlog is a result of stretched resources, and the low priority rape kit testing is given by law enforcement. In the many jurisdictions where there is no law or policy that mandates the testing of all collected rape kits, whether or not a kit is tested is based on the discretion of police or prosecutors. There are various reasons why law enforcement may decide not to request a kit for testing, including a lack of resources necessary for testing requests.
- Untested rape kits also represent the fact that many rape cases are closed before making it very far in the criminal justice system.
Learn more about Ending the Rape Kit Backlog at endthebacklog.org END THE BACKLOG is an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation (joyfulheartfoundation.org), to shine a light on—and eliminate—the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States. Joyful Heart Foundation is a national organization started by actress and advocate, Mariska Hargitay in 2004, with hubs of service in New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu and recently a San Francisco Bay Committee. Joyful Heart Foundation's mission is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever. JHF carries out it's mission in three ways: Healing, Education and Advocacy.