News, media, commentary, testimonials and more in one sortable location.

The Backlog


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.


Interview with Rick Bell: Pt. 3

In our final part of his interview, Rick talks about how Cuyahoga County is moving forward to address their backlog, and how they’re collaborating with other cities that are doing the same.

First Person

THE BACKLOG BLOGApril 27, 2015

Interview with Rick Bell: Pt. 2

Several years ago, law enforcement in Cleveland discovered nearly 4,000 untested rape kits, dating from 1993. By 2014, every kit had been submitted for testing in accordance with Ohio’s Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative, and the testing of the first 2,326 kits yielded stunning results: 968 matches in the CODIS national DNA database, 324 investigations, and 204 criminal indictments.

First Person

THE BACKLOG BLOGApril 20, 2015

Interview with Rick Bell: Pt. 1

ENDTHEBACKLOG had the opportunity to interview Rick Bell, the Special Investigations Division Chief in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

First Person

ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 12, 2014

Remarks of Mariska Hargitay on Manhattan DA's New Initiative to Help End the Rape Kit Backlog

The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages: to victims, it says: you don't matter. What happened to you doesn't matter. And to criminals, it says: what you did doesn't matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.

First Person


Meet our Intern: Jaclyn Katz

Working on the ENDTHEBACKLOG project this summer has already allowed me to understand how multiple forces—the law, advocacy groups, local police stations, crime labs—all work to shape the effectiveness of the legal system in bringing justice to victims of sexual assault.

First Person


Featured Reformer: Keli Rabon

Keli Rabon is an investigative reporter with Call7News in Denver, Colorado. Her work to uncover rape kit backlogs in both Denver and Memphis has led to policy changes, and has earned Keli numerous awards. ENDTHEBACKLOG spoke with her.

First Person

THE BACKLOG BLOGApril 25, 2014

An Interview with Rachel Dissell and Leila Atassi

Their investigative work with the Cleveland Plain Dealer has explored each facet of the criminal justice response to sexual violence—from rape kit testing to victim re-engagement to prosecution. Read our interview with them.

First Person


Survivor’s Story: Joanie

I am a survivor of an extremely violent sexual assault. I will always live every day in deep gratitude that I am still alive to even tell my story.

First Person


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