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The Backlog

ENDTHEBACKLOG Media Center

Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the ENDTHEBACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.

ThinkProgressDecember 10, 2013

If We Want To Take Sexual Assault Seriously, We Need To Test Thousands Of Rape Kits First

Here in the United States, which came first: A victim-blaming rape culture, or a police force that doesn’t take sexual assault cases seriously?

News

ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 18, 2013

On Memphis’s 12,000 Untested Rape Kits

Last week, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announced that the agency has more than 12,000 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities—about 4,000 more than previously reported—and that it will take more than $4 million to process them all.

Blog

ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 7, 2013

Introducing our new website

Joyful Heart is proud to share with you the new ENDTHEBACKLOG.org, our website dedicated to shining a light on and ending the rape kit backlog—hundreds of thousands of rape kits collected in the aftermath of a sexual assault, sitting untested in police and crime lab storage facilities.

Blog

ENDTHEBACKLOGSeptember 24, 2013

Rape Kit Backlog Featured on the Katie Couric Show

A courageous survivor named Helena and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appeared alongside Mariska Hargitay to shed light on the backlog. Helena waited 14 years for justice. Worthy is working to address the backlog of over 11,000 in Detroit.

Event

The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionSeptember 4, 2013

A key to prosecuting rape

Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. They overcome the terrible, misplaced social stigma of being the victim of sexual violence. A forensic exam of their bodies typically takes four to six hours. The evidence is then collected in a “Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit” — a rape kit.

News

Minneapolis City PagesSeptember 3, 2013

The science of stopping sex crimes

In the quest to catch violent perps, rape kits can be a key ally – but only if they're tested. Rape kit testing can identify serial rapists and unknown assailants as well as exonerate innocent suspects. The fact that so many DNA samples have sat on shelves in evidence rooms for years sends negative messages to victims and encourages culprits, says Sarah Tofte, director of policy and advocacy for the Joyful Heart Foundation, which presses for rape kit testing.

News

Click On DetroitAugust 30, 2013

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office works to test 11,000 Detroit rape kits to reveal suspects

The Prosecutor's Office says 11,000 rape kits have been found sitting on the shelves at a police annex building. Most of the kits were untested, until now.

News

ENDTHEBACKLOGAugust 30, 2013

Joyful Heart Presents on Victim Notification at the 2013 National Sexual Assault Conference

At the 2013 National Sexual Assault Conference, Joyful Heart presented a workshop on our research on victim notification and the rape kit backlog, defining victim notification and current practices across the country and walking the audience through the many decisions jurisdictions face when notifying survivors that their rape kits were part of a backlog. They were joined by a panel of experts who have direct experience with notification: Detective James Blocker of the LA Police Department (LAPD), Robert Taylor, Assistant Director of the LA Sheriff's Department (LASD) Crime Lab, and Anne Kinetra, an investigator with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Event

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