Media Archive by Topic: rape kit backlog

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End our backlog of rape kit processing
November 6, 2013 • Shreveport Times
Sarah Tofte
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. read more
Thousands of Untested Rape Kits in Memphis Endanger Public
September 8, 2013 • Nonprofit Quarterly
Ruth McCambridge
For anyone who has worked on issues of violence against women, this should serve as a wake-up call that the work is far from done. For anyone who works on social change, it serves as a reminder that monitoring implementation of hard-won laws is critical. read more
The science of stopping sex crimes
September 4, 2013 • Minnesota City Pages
Judy Keen
In the quest to catch violent perps, rape kits can be a key ally – but only if they're tested. read more
Work to end the rape kit backlog
August 30, 2013 • Tampa Bay Tribune
Sarah Tofte
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. read more
Why rapists have a 76 percent chance of getting away with the crime
August 25, 2013 • Alabama.com
Sarah Tofte
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. They overcome the terrible, misplaced social stigma of being the victim of sexual violence, they overcome the warnings sometimes uttered by the rapist to keep silent, they overcome the suggestions that these issues ought not to be spoken of, and they speak up. read more
Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault
August 20, 2013 • Thomson Reuters Foundation
Sarah Tofte
Last year, a FedEx delivery truck arrived at the Detroit Police Department storage facility to pick up the first batch of untested rape kits bound, finally, for crime labs. Thus began Detroit’s massive task of processing its rape kit backlog – the more than 11,000 kits that were left behind to languish in a police warehouse, some for more than two decades. read more
Wayne County must put safety of its communities first: Sarah Tofte
June 6, 2013 • Detroit Free Press
Sarah Tofte
With Wednesday’s announcement that the State of Michigan may provide $4 million in funding to help test old rape kit evidence in Detroit, Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette made it clear that preventing and prosecuting sexual assaults in Detroit is a priority. read more
Priorities
June 3, 2013 • The Huffington Post
Mariska Hargitay and Kym Worthy
Despite the progress we as a nation have made in the movement to end sexual violence, including the recent passage of a more inclusive Violence Against Women Act, much work remains to be done. read more
Law & Order star promotes Rockland's own SVU in video
May 10, 2013 • Journal News - Lohud.com
Steve Lieberman
Actress Mariska Hargitay talks about helping victims of sexual and domestic abuse on a video released Friday by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office promoting the county’s “Spirit of Rockland" Special Victims Unit. read more
Wayne Co. prosecutor wins praise from actress for rape kit efforts
March 14, 2013 • The Detroit News
David Shepardson
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy lobbied Wednesday for more federal support to test a backlog of more than 10,000 rape kits from Detroit and won praise from a national advocate for victims of sexual assault. After initially testing 400 of the kits picked at random from a backlog of 11,300 that were found in a Detroit police storage facility in 2009 for a pilot project, Worthy said they have completed testing another 398 rape kits. read more
Wayne Co. Prosecutor Worthy lobbies for more rape kit testing funds
March 13, 2013 • The Detroit News
David Shepardson
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy lobbied Wednesday for more federal support to test a backlog of more than 10,000 rape kits from the city of Detroit and won praise from a national advocate for victims of sexual assault. read more
Thousands of untested rape kits lying in storage in Detroit
February 18, 2013 • Canadian Broadcast Radio
Pacinthe Mattar
A disturbing story about law and order today. In the city of Detroit, the woman who holds the job of Chief Prosecutor discovered that thousands of sexual assault cases have been in limbo for decades because evidence from so-called rape kits is languishing on forgotten shelves. It is not a problem unique to Detroit, but it is one that has seen serial rapists, and even murderers, exist undetected for years. read more
Want a Real Reason to Be Outraged?
October 27, 2012 • The New York Times
Nicholas D. Kristof
The silliness began when Todd Akin claimed during his Senate campaign in Missouri that in the case of “legitimate rape,” women “shut that whole thing down” to prevent pregnancy. Then, a few days ago, Richard Mourdock of Indiana seemed to blame God for such pregnancies, saying this was “something God intended to happen.” I think God should sue him for defamation. read more
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

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