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.

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.

First Person

THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 28, 2015

Inside Look: Second Annual Sexual Assault Summit for Cities

The Joyful Heart Foundation was honored to participate in the second annual Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Summit for Cities, which convened on October 19 – 20 in Memphis, Tennessee.

First Person

THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 23, 2015

Inside Kentucky’s statewide audit of untested rape kits

In an #ENDTHEBACKLOG exclusive, Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen shares insights and lessons learned from his office's statewide audit of untested rape kits.

First Person


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


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