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The Backlog

END THE BACKLOG Blog

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.

EndTheBacklogAugust 28, 2017

Inside Look: Policy & Advocacy Summer Internship

This summer, the Policy & Advocacy team at Joyful Heart welcomed two undergraduate interns to our New York office. Here, Emma and Julia share their reflections and findings from the summer.

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EndTheBacklogAugust 28, 2017

Federal Government Boosts Rape Kit Reform Efforts

The movement to end the untested rape kit backlog got a significant boost from the federal government this month when it issued the first-ever national guidelines for handling rape kits.

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EndTheBacklogAugust 28, 2017

Advocating for Rape Kit Reform at the NCSL Summit

Earlier this month, Joyful Heart’s Policy and Advocacy team attended the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit in Boston. Over the course of three days, we connected with lawmakers and staffers from across the country about how to end the backlog of untested rape kits.

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EndTheBacklogJuly 19, 2017

Rape Kit Tracking System: From Idea to Law

Today’s guest author is Texas State Representative Donna Howard, who has served in the Texas House since 2006, representing District 48 in Travis County. Here, Rep. Howard reflects on the effort to pass H.B. 281, which established a statewide tracking system for rape kits. She writes today’s blog to inspire legislators and advocates across the country.

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EndTheBacklogJuly 17, 2017

State Coalitions and Survivor-Centered Policies

Today’s guest author is Chris Kaiser, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Texas recently became the first state in the nation to enact all of our six legislative pillars of rape kit reform. Here, Chris shares TAASA’s advocacy efforts to enact a statewide tracking system and ensure policies are survivor-centered.

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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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EndTheBacklogJune 20, 2017

Inside Look: Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Meeting

Insights from the annual Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) meeting in Washington, D.C. last month.

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EndTheBacklogJune 20, 2017

Mid-Year Review: State Legislative Reform in 2017

Read more about the status of our campaign to enact comprehensive rape kit reform in every state by 2020.

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