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The Backlog

Tags: statewide audit

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 END THE BACKLOG 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.

EndTheBacklogJuly 17, 2017

Survivors' Voices Drive Rape Kit Reform in Texas

Today’s guest author is Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator and founder of the advocacy organization Deeds Not Words. Here, she discusses the rape kit reform laws she sponsored in the Senate and addresses the need for survivors’ voices to drive policy solutions.

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EndTheBacklogApril 17, 2017

Kansas Working Group as a Model for Successful Collaboration

Katie Whisman leads the Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a statewide multidisciplinary working group tasked with addressing the state’s existing backlog and developing standardized practices to improve the handling of rape kits. Here, Katie shares her experiences with the group, whose successes include achieving 100 percent law enforcement agency participation in a voluntary statewide audit of unsubmitted rape kits.

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END THE BACKLOGNovember 22, 2016

24,000 Untested Rape Kits Reported in 7 States

In recent months, officials in seven states have counted the number of untested rape kits in law enforcement evidence facilities, and reported partial or complete audit results. Their findings? Nearly 24,000 untested rape kits.

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END THE BACKLOGSeptember 23, 2016

Our Response to the Rape Kit Backlog News in Hawai‘i this Week

True change cannot come without collaboration and partnership, and we stand ready to serve to help bring justice to survivors in our state—and across the country.

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END THE BACKLOGSeptember 20, 2016

The Honolulu Star Advertiser: Police miss deadline on rape kits

All four of Hawaii’s county police departments have failed to comply with the Sept. 1 deadline.

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END THE BACKLOGMarch 16, 2016

Survivor's Story: Julie Weil on Florida's New Rape Kit Law

Survivor and sexual assault advocate Julie Weil describes what Florida's recently passed sexual assault kit legislation, Florida SB 636, means for survivors who have felt like their voices have not been heard.

Survivor Stories

END THE BACKLOGFebruary 9, 2016

Legislative Landscape of Rape Kit Reform: 2016

There is a real movement for change occurring right now. Joyful Heart is proud to be part of it by making rape kit testing top advocacy priority. Our goal? A policy for rape kit testing in all 50 states.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 28, 2015

Lessons Learned from the Texas Rape Kit Audit

There are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States. To address this problem, many states are in the process of debating, developing or enacting some form of mandatory sexual assault kit legislation. While recent national news articles on this issue may characterize it as a current event, the State of Texas has been working to address this issue for more than four years.

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