Media Archive by Topic: rape kit backlog

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Cleveland police join cities nationwide testing old evidence from sexual-assault cases
April 22nd, 2012 • Cleveland Plain Dealer
Rachel Dissell
More than two years ago, Cleveland police started an ambitious project to account for thousands of pieces of evidence in sexual assault cases going back at least 20 years. In doing so, they join a growing number of cities across America that are testing old evidence that has the potential to solve cold cases and offer some solace for victims, even in cases that can't be prosecuted. read more
Failure to Test Rape Kits is a National Embarrassment
September 29th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Lisa Madigan
Ask anyone to name the most serious crimes--rape and murder always top the list. It is impossible to imagine critical evidence in a murder case would not be used to put a murderer behind bars and bring peace and safety to the victim's loved ones and community. read more
Natasha's Justice Project, Stony Brook University To Study Rape Kit Backlog
September 16th, 2011 • The Huffington Post
Frank Eltman
A recently formed organization that contends there is a nationwide backlog of untested rape kits told The Associated Press on Monday that it was teaming with a New York university to try to figure out how many are sitting on police department shelves as a first step in clearing the logjam. read more
DNA Evidence CAN Stop Serial Rapists
August 4th, 2011 • Ms. Magazine
Stephanie Hallet
It was an ordinary day in October, 2002. Julie Weil and her infant son were picking up Julie’s daughter, three-year-old Emily, from her Florida preschool at noon. As Julie buckled her daughter into her car seat, she felt a sudden blow to the head. read more
DNA doesn’t lie
May 30th, 2011 • Boston Herald
Linda Fairstein
The fact that there are estimated to be almost a quarter of a million untested rape evidence collection kits collecting dust in police department warehouses across this country remains a national embarrassment. read more
Untested Rape Kit Update
May 25th, 2011 • Marie Claire
Abby Gardener
Yesterday, our deputy editor received a email with a message that was long overdue from rape victim Helena Lazaro. read more
It's time to test rape kits
May 15th, 2011 • Houston Chronicle
Mariska Hargitay, Sarah Tofte and Annette Burrhus-Clay
Over the last two years, cities across Texas, including Houston, have acknowledged significant backlogs of untested rape kits in their police storage facilities — at least 4,000 kits in Houston and another 16,000 untested kits in Dallas and San Antonio combined. read more
Rebuttal: Justice Requires Rape-Kit Testing
April 4th, 2011 • Women's eNews
Sarah Tofte
In February Women's eNews ran a commentary by Wendy Murphy about excessive attention being paid to a backlog of untested rape kits. Here Sarah Tofte offers a vigorous rebuttal, told in part through the tribulations of one young woman. read more
America's Cold-Case Crisis
February 25th, 2011 • The Daily Beast
Linda Fairstein
Testing old rape kits could put countless rapists in prison—and exonerate others who were wrongly convicted. Linda Fairstein on the tragedy of letting these truth-tellers collect dust. read more
2011: The Year of National Rape Kit Backlog Reform
December 20th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Sarah Tofte
The end of a year inspires bold predictions for the next one. At the end of this year, I am predicting that 2011 will be a year of unprecedented reform of the backlog of untested rape kits in the United State read more
Mariska Hargitay Helps Survivors Heal On and Off 'SVU'
September 29th, 2010 • iVillage
Jacki Garfinkel
The Law & Order: SVU star speaks out about the rights of rape victims and what she's learned from Olivia Benson. read more
Law and Order Actress Raises Rape Kit Backlog Awareness
September 29th, 2010 • NBC News
NBC News
The season premiere of NBC's "Law and Order SVU" tackled the ongoing problem of backlogged rape kits sitting untested in police warehouses... delaying the prosecution of rape suspects. It was a problem brought to life in Los Angeles in 2009 and now actress Mariska Hargitay has started a foundation to help raise awareness and funds to get those rape kits tested. read more
Why Are These Rapes Still Unsolved?
September 28th, 2010 • The Daily Beast
Linda Fairstein
On tonight’s Law & Order: SVU, police will discover thousands of unexamined rape kits—a chilling premise that’s not just fiction. Linda Fairstein on how the real backlog could solve countless crimes. read more
Ending the Backlog
September 28th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Mariska Hargitay and Neal Baer
By failing to test rape kits, we are telling victims that pursuing justice doesn't matter, that convicting violent perpetrators and taking them off our streets is not a top priority. read more
New National Initiative on Rape Kits
May 21st, 2010 • CBS Evening News
Armen Keteyian
Almost a year ago, CBS News broadcast a two part series on a five month investigation into tens of thousands of untested rape kits nationwide. read more
Rape Kit Testing Backlog Thwarts Justice for Victims
May 20th, 2010 • ABC News
Devin Dwyer and Lisa Jones
When Valerie Neumann woke up dazed and physically bruised the morning after her 21st birthday, the awful reality began to sink in that she had been raped. Neumann then made the difficult decision many sexual assault victims make -- to submit to the ordeal of a rape kit at her local hospital. read more
Lobbying to reduce the Rape Kit Backlog
March 24th, 2010 • CBS News
Laura Strickler
This week, Valerie Neumann, a rape victim who was profiled in a CBS News investigation into the national rape kit backlog, is pounding the halls of Congress asking dozens of lawmakers to support legislation that will require DNA from all rape kits to be tested. read more
Nurses who deal with sexual assault cases are 'a special kind of person'
November 5th, 2009 • Times Herald-Record
Heather Yakin
Caring for and collecting evidence from survivors of sexual assault takes a special mix of compassion and technical expertise. read more
DNA test key in state rape kit overhaul
October 23rd, 2009 • Times Union
Carol Demere
It was the first overhaul in 20 years of what is officially known as the sexual offense evidence collection kit and the upgrade was seriously needed, state Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise E. O’Donnell said. read more
'SVU' star Mariska Hargitay joins forces with pros to revamp DNA evidence tool for rape victims
October 22nd, 2009 • NY Daily News
Patrick O'Shaughnessy
A new kit for collecting forensic evidence from rape victims will be unveiled today - the first revamping of the crucial tool in 20 years. read more
Rape kits get DNA upgrade, 'SVU' star
October 22nd, 2009 • NY Post
Bill Sanderson
Two decades after their first use in New York emergency rooms, rape testing kits are being updated for the DNA age. read more

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