Archive for November, 2010
Two weeks ago, I posted about Vice President Biden’s announcement of new initiatives from the federal government to improve the response to sexual and domestic violence. This week, I spoke with Kristina Rose, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), to discuss NIJ’s new sexual assault kit action research project.
Sarah Tofte: Tell me a bit about your background and how you got interested in issues around rape kit reform.
Kristina Rose: I have been working for about 25 years on crime and criminal justice issues. In the 1980’s, I was lucky enough to serve on a county crime victim board that addressed crime victims’ concerns, and that is where I got my first introduction to violence against women issues. Hearing crime victims tell their stories, especially around domestic violence and sexual assault, really moved me.
When I worked at the Office on Violence Against Women I had a great boss who supported the projects I felt most strongly about, which included sexual violence issues. I became very interested in best practices for treating victims of sexual assault, especially involving the forensic examination. We developed a virtual training DVD with Dartmouth Medical School and as part of that project, I produced More >
The season championship game on October 30th, between the Bronx Gridlock and the Queens of Pain began with an awareness effort for www.endthebacklog.org. Joyful Heart’s communications and advocacy teams worked in collaboration with the members of the league’s community outreach committee by providing the two competing teams with t-shirts, which displayed the website address for www.endthebacklog.org, to wear during warm-ups before the final match. Tip cards, which provide detailed information about what the rape kit backlog is and offers resources to survivors, were also included in the bout program for the 2000 fans arriving to support their favorite team.
GGRD was 100% behind the idea of wearing the shirts and promoting the website when I first introduced it to them. As a member of this group of 60+ women, I bear witness to the tremendous strength and confidence each skater possesses, both on and off the track on a regular basis. The unfortunate reality, however, is that there are survivors of sexual violence among us, which is cause enough for us More >
On October 27th, as part of a White House event to Commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the federal government was increasing its efforts to end the rape kit backlog in the United States by funding pilot projects throughout the country to help jurisdictions eliminate their rape kit backlog.
It was an important moment, and I was lucky to get to be a part of it, sitting in the East Room of the White House as Vice President Biden made the announcement. Sitting three rows from the Vice President and President Barack Obama, who both made remarks, I was full of gratitude for an administration that is deeply committed to ending violence against women and girls.
Listening to the President and Vice President, I was filled with gratitude for how this administration is using its power to address sexual and domestic violence, and to shed light into the darkness of these issues. As Mariska Hargitay, Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, More >