END THE BACKLOG
Give closure to Rape victims
Give jail time to Abuser
What are we saying to victims? Victims are not important?. Raped at 11 & 12 years old, I didn’t tell a soul. My mother would have beat me silly. Some of you will know this first hand. It takes close to six hours to go through the photos, poking, scraping and prodding of a Rape Kit collection. I hear it’s humiliating and you feel violated again. I don’t have many issues that get under my skin, this is the ONE. How did this happen? Over years the kits collected dust stored at local level without a system to retrieve them. The Rape Kits started crowding out the local precinct storage and shipped to storage facilities and forgotten about. In recent years the money for the DNA testing was expensive and budgets were smaller. END THE BACKLOG has moved mountains in a very short time. Please pass the e-mail around and sign up on website. This is my opinion and not endorsed by End The Backlog.
We have heard some exciting news and we wanted you to hear it from us first. We also want to ask for your help advocating for change.
As you know, Joyful Heart is dedicated to ending the rape kit backlog nationwide. Every year, more than 200,000 individuals report their rape to the police. Almost all are asked to have a rape kit collected, a process that can take four to six hours to complete. The potential benefits from this invasive process are enormous: testing of the DNA evidence in a rape kit can identify an unknown perpetrator, confirm the presence of a known assailant, corroborate the victim’s account of the rape and exonerate innocent suspects. To accomplish these things, however, the kits must be tested. In the United States, it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in police storage and crime lab facilities simply waiting to be tested. Untested rape kits represent lost justice for rape victims, as they often mean a rape investigation was cut short before the offender could be brought to justice. Currently, Detroit is working to test more than 11,000 kits that were transferred to a warehouse by the police and left behind, despite significantly limited resources. But we are not in this alone. After meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder in March, we have learned that President Obama has identified $20 million in his budget request to Congress to help the Department of Justice address the backlog. At a time of budget cuts across the federal government, this investment shows the significance of our work in shining a light on this important issue. We will continue to work with members of Congress to make sure this funding stays in the final proposals that become law.
To read yesterday’s op-ed from our Founder & President, Mariska Hargitay, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on this important development, visit The Huffington Post.
To learn more about Joyful Heart’s work to end the rape kit backlog, visit http://www.endthebacklog.org.
What you can do:
Call your represetative and senators and let them know that funding the Department of Justice’s efforts to eliminate the rape kit backlog is critical and must be made a priority in this year’s budget. Click here to find contact information for your representative and here to find your senators.
Thank you for your continued support,
Director of Policy & Advocacy
Joyful Heart Foundation