Media Archive by Year: 2015

Title
State Attorney's Office receives $2 million federal grant to clear rape test-kit backlog
Derek Gilliam
State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that her office has received nearly $2 million in a federal grant to eliminate the about 1,300 sexual-assault test kits sitting on evidence shelves at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. read more
Nearly $80 Million Will Be Used to Finally Test Thousands of Rape Kits
September 10, 2015 • Jezebel
Anna Merlin

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were in New York Thursday to announce that the White House has awarded $41 million in new rape kit testing grants to police departments across the country, added to the $38 million in grant money that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance already contributed. That $79 million will be used to test 70,000 backlogged rape kits across the country. Finally.

...

read more
Millions Earmarked to Clear 'Disturbing' Rape Kit Backlog
September 10, 2015 • NBC News
Kate Snow, Rich McHugh and Tracy Connor
New effort underway to clear rape kit backlog. read more
Rape, suspended in time
September 7, 2015 • Las Vegas Sun
Megan Messerly
Hoping to bring closure to victims, Las Vegas fighting to analyze thousands of backlogged rape kits that have been in storage for decades. read more
Metro Changes Rape Kit Policy After Finding Nearly 100 Unprocessed In Past Ten Years
August 26, 2015 • WSAV3
Sheila Parker

There are estimates that as many as 400-thousand rape kits in the United States are gathering dust on police evidence shelves – going untested. The issue has caused outrage and led to some reforms at local, state and federal levels. We wanted to find out what the status was here. News 3 has been looking into the problem for months .

...

read more
‘Law and Order: SVU’ News 2015: USA Network’s Next Marathon Of The Addictive Cop Show Will Benefit A Good Cause
August 26, 2015 • Enstars
Dave Odegard
The police procedural’s next binge-offering on cable will be a call to end domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Why Haven't 70,000 Rape Kits Been Tested for DNA?
July 20, 2015 • NBC News
Kate Snow and Rich McHugh

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits that could identify serial sexual attackers are sitting untested by police departments across the country — despite promises and federal funds to clear the backlog, a new agency-by-agency count suggests.

Documents obtained exclusively by USA TODAY Media Network, an NBC News partner, uncovered more than 70,000 neglected forensic evidence kits amassed by more than 1,000 police agencies. That's just a fraction of the nation's 18,000 police departments, so the total number of untested kits is likely far higher.

...

read more
Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA
July 16, 2015 • USA Today
Steve Reilly
A nationwide count by USA TODAY reveals abandoned rape kit evidence. read more
Zambuto & Prichard: Resources Needed to Test Rape Kits
July 10, 2015 • The Ledger.com
MAILE M. ZAMBUTO AND THERESA L. PRICHARD

Recently, the Joyful Heart Foundation announced that Jacksonville has 1,943 untested rape kits in law enforcement evidence storage facilities. Sadly, Jacksonville is not alone.

Despite the fact that DNA evidence can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve and prevent crimes, the federal government estimates that across the country there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits that have never been sent to a crime lab for testing.

read more
The risk we take with Charlotte’s rape kit backlog
June 29, 2015 • The Charlotte Observer
Maile M. Zambuto
From Maile M. Zambuto, Chief Executive Officer of the Joyful Heart Foundation, and Monika Johnson Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, read more
Investigative Report: How Victim-Blaming Led to the Rape Kit Backlog
June 22, 2015 • RH Reality Check
Sofia Resnick
“I honestly understand why a lot of people don’t report rape,” Kiyona Phillips told RH Reality Check in an interview. “Because if you’re not half-dead or beat in the face or it’s not recorded in any kind of way, you really have to prove that this happened to you.” -Kiyona Phillips read more
Will new focus on rape kit tests put thousands behind bars?
May 30, 2015 • Associated Press
Sharon Cohen
The evidence piled up for years, abandoned in police property rooms, warehouses and crime labs. Now, tens of thousands of sexual assault kits are giving up their secrets — and rapists who've long remained free may finally face justice. read more
HomeFree Content States on Skates roller skaters return to Salida, raise $26,000
May 26, 2015 • The Mountain Mail
Ryan Summerlin

Three Ark Valley High Rollers are back in their street shoes after 78 days of skating from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast.

Their roller derby teammates, friends and some people who were just plain curious packed into Café Dawn Monday for their return party to see a slide show of the trio’s last 3½ months.

read more
We’re Letting Untested Rape Kits Languish In Warehouses And It Has Huge Consequences
May 21, 2015 • Think Progress
TARA CULP-RESSLER

Despite more than a billion dollars in public funding dedicated to helping law enforcement officials test the DNA evidence collected in rape kits, there’s still a huge backlog of untested kits collecting dust in storage facilities across the country, according to advocates who testified at a Senate committee hearing this week.

Because DNA evidence is collected on a local level, we have no idea exactly how many rape kits are languishing unopened in massive warehouses. Advocacy groups in the field believe that the total number is in the hundreds of thousands.

...

read more
Joyful Heart Reveals Rape Kit Backlog Data, but More Remains Unknown
May 20, 2015 • Nonprofit Quarterly
SHAFAQ HASAN

The Joyful Heart Foundation’s Accountability Project, an initiative that’s part of the #EndTheBacklog program focused on identifying the extent of the national rape kit backlog, has released new information detailing the number of untested kits in several cities nationwide.

Through public record requests, the foundation discovered the following totals:

Charlotte, North Carolina: 1,019 untested kits

Jacksonville, Florida: 1,943 kits

Kansas City, Missouri: 1,324 kits

Portland, Oregon: 1,931 kits

San Diego, California: 2,873 kits

...

read more
Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights
Sarah Haacke Byrd
Statement for the record for Sarah Haacke Byrd, Managing Director for the Joyful Heart Foundation before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. read more
Advocacy group says Kansas City has 1,324 untested rape kits
May 19, 2015 • KSHB Kansas City
Lexi Sutter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A national rape victim advocacy group says Kansas City has 1,324 untested rape kits.

The nonprofit Joyful Heart Foundation released information Tuesday about testing backlogs in five cities. It says it hopes the cities will "take aggressive and comprehensive steps toward rape kit reform."

“We do feel that the transparency and accountability around releasing the numbers will pave the way for true reform around rape kit testing,” explained Ilse Knecht, the senior advisor for policy and advocacy for the Joyful Heart Foundation.

read more
Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away
May 19, 2015 • The New York Times
Nicholas Kristof
Sexual assault thrives with impunity, and that’s one reason we should routinely test rape kits, to chip away at the impunity and raise the costs of rape so that it becomes less common. read more
Mariska Hargitay tears up at Joyful Revolution Gala, talks 'huge progress' of domestic violence, sexual assault awareness
May 7, 2015 • Daily News
RACHEL MARESCA

Mariska Hargitay couldn't be prouder of how far her foundation has come.

The "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" actress, who founded the Joyful Heart organization in 2004, teared up when talking about it to the Daily News' Confidential column at Wednesday's Joyful Revolution Gala.

 ...

read more
Man Charged in 1995 New York City Rape and Robbery After DNA Match
May 4, 2015 • Jezebel
Anna Merlan

The Manhattan District Attorney has charged Joseph Giardala, 44, with raping and robbing a woman in New York City’s West Village in 1995. New York couldn’t identify Giardala by name after the rape, but entered his DNA into a national database, where it matched with a case in Florida earlier this year. In the years since allegedly raping a 25-year-old woman at knifepoint, Giardala has lived in at least eleven different U.S. states and appears to have traveled out of the country dozens of times.

read more
5 Celebrities Who Are Champions For Domestic Violence Survivors
May 2, 2015 • Bustle
Jamie Kenney

In tonight's highly anticipated fight against Manny Pacquiao , Floyd Mayweather will make over $100 million. He estimates that he will make $200 million at least. Truly, those might be modest estimates. Let that sink in for a second. Personally, I think it's pretty disgusting that literally anyone would make that much money for a single event. There are certainly better places that money could be spent.

read more
Why Every Business Should Also Get Into the Business of Good
April 29, 2015 • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-lerner/why-every-business-should_b_7169922.html
Suzanne Lerner

As a founder of a global brand for over 25 years, Michael Stars (I founded it in 1986 year with my husband, Michael), it would be easy for me to only focus on opportunities that made me money or elevated my company's profile. But instead, I've chosen a dual career: one as a business leader, and one as a leader in philanthropy.

read more
Salida roller derby athletes tackling cross-country fundraising skate
April 28, 2015 • The Denver Post
Jason Blevins

Kim Bouldin sounds lost.

"What day is this? I've lost track. I think we are on day 20," she says, her voice lost in the growl of a passing truck.

She's at a roadside convenience store just outside Biloxi, Miss.

The days are a blur. Roller skating 700 miles on rough roads over three weeks does strange things to your mind and body, says the mother and wife from Salida.

read more
Biden: ‘Guys … you have to step up’ to fight violence against women
April 25, 2015 • The Hill
Jordan Fabian
Vice President Biden is teaming up with actress Jessica Szohr for an event raising awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence. read more
States on Skates and Joyful Heart Foundation
April 8, 2015 • Click Orlando

Pages