Yes, there’s a rape kit backlog.
Courtesy of Newsweek:
There are currently hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in police evidence storage facilities around the country and 2020 Democratic hopeful Kamala Harris has a plan to end the nationwide backlog.
On Thursday, Harris said she would spend $1 billion in order to help states clear rape kit backlogs. The money would also help law enforcement reform their approach to sexual crimes, including testing rape kits earlier and regularly updating victims with information about the status of the testing.
“The federal government can and should prioritize justice for survivors of sexual abuse,” Harris said in a statement. “As California’s Attorney General, I committed resources and attention to clearing a backlog of 1,300 untested rape kits at state-run labs, and we got it done within my first year in office. We need the same focus at the national level to pursue justice and help hold predators accountable.”
Under her proposal, states that conduct an annual count and official report of untested rape kits would be eligible for additional funding from the federal government. The money would also increase the amount of rape kits available to police departments, especially in rural areas.
Harris said that her $1 billion investment would cover about 225,000 rape kits that remain untested. According to End the Backlog, an advocacy group that assists crime victims, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 to test a rape kit.
The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits is mindboggling.
Rape is one of the most underreported crimes in America.
So you have a person who is willing to call the police and undergo a humiliating rape test, and then nobody even bothers to process it?
So this person is not only violated by their attacker but then also violated by an uncaring system.
And people wonder why women often do not come forward to report sexual violence.
I think Kamala Harris is right to shine a light on this problem, and I hope that whichever Democrat wins the White House in 2020 will make it a priority.