In the past, experts in the federal government estimated that there were hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in police and crime lab storage facilities throughout the country.
But right now, there is more we do not know about the backlog than we do know. There is no comprehensive, national data on the nature and scope of the rape kit backlog. Few state governments and no federal agencies track rape kit data. Across the United States, there are vast differences in the way law enforcement tracks and reports this data, if at all, making it exceedingly difficult to compare and to have a national picture of the backlog.
In just a handful of locations, we have begun to get a clearer picture because lawmakers have enacted legislation and policies, investigative reports have uncovered backlogs and officials have made the number of untested kits in their communities publicly known. On the federal level, the government is taking steps to encourage the tracking of rape kit data.
Use the map below to find information on:
- the size and status of the backlog;
- reforms around rape kit tracking and testing, and the victim notification process;
- local and national rape kit backlog news; and more.
Use the buttons above the map to toggle between the city view and state view. When you click into a location, you'll see a snapshot of the backlog and recent news—click the SEE MORE button for even more details. We hope that you will use this map to learn more about the backlog in your area and nationwide and call on our elected officials for much-needed reforms.