States with the worst rape kit backlogs


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Argh. If the police aren’t going to do anything about a rape, they should just say so.

Don’t make the survivor suffer the infamous “second rape” of the kit procedure.

Don’t let people believe that if evidence was collected, something will be done.

Don’t waste money and time on creating and storing the completed kits. Use the saved money to educate the public about not raping in the first place.


How sad it is that in 2015 we still need to educate people that rape is wrong.


And these are the rapes that are reported…


Hard to know which state is the worst when only 12 states have even counted their backlog. Unless boingboing knows something we don’t.

I have a really hard time even conjuring up a reason to not process these kits. This sinkhole of injustice is unfathomable.


Victims who want a sexual assault forensic examination but are not ready to participate in a police investigation have trouble gaining access to a kit in the first place.

The Violence Against Women Act requires states that receive funding to provide kits without regard to whether a victim cooperates with law enforcement. Not every memeber of every law enforcement agency always understands that the policy is important to encourage reporting and also to increase detection of serial perpetrators.


I’m confused at the claim that the collection process takes 4-6 hours. Perhaps they’re including the testing process as well in that estimation. Collecting at the hospital takes 10-30 minutes at most.


I may be wrong but I believe that it is not up to the individual who has been raped if there is enough evidence to go forward with charges. But a rape kit is done immediately, so it is possible that in some states unless they have a suspect and actual charges are filed against an individual and a case goes forward that the kits are not processed. So unless you know who the rapist is, and you are what prosecutors see as a credible victim, and they feel they have a good shot at winning the case, there is no rush to have the kit tested. It’s stupid and wrong but would explain why so many rape kits live in limboland waiting and waiting…


on the other hand, there are growing dna databases against which a sample could be compared.even if there are no hits the dna could at least tell us whether we have a serial rapist at work.


Sometimes the simplest answer is also the most sensible. Now if somebody would just listen…


The only downside is that the linked document proposes an increase in DNA collection. It won’t be long before DNA is collected at birth and stored in criminal databases.

It is terrible that we are led to believe by CSI that all rape kits are easy to process and take just a few minutes to generate positive results.


Yes, but it’s the DNA of rapists. I’m okay with that.


Alleged …


Well whoever’s DNA is in there where it doesn’t belong is pretty guilty. People may be presumed innocent, but genes are not. That’s aside from the epidemic of false rape accusations, which, as you know, is fiction.


I just take the position of not knowing the facts.

I will say that police act on evidence and that if files go dead then it becomes difficult to pursue further.


And I will say that they don’t. And even in cases where the police want to go forward – for example, they’ve caught the perp red-handed – the district/state attorney’s office won’t take a case unless they are 100% certain they’ll win. Sexual assault cases are virtually never prosecuted, and it’s not because there isn’t evidence available at the time.


“I will say that police act on evidence” - where is this magical fairy land you live? I want to go there!


I have had police officers as clients, mostly due to PTSD, and I will say it’s a shit situation for all concerned.

Add in prosecutors and judges with their own professional agendas and you have yet another recipe for chaos.


There’s no excuse for allowing police testing labs to test potential drug samples (a strictly political crime) when they still have a backlog of untested rape kits.


Civil asset forfeiture is why possible drug samples are tested instead of rape kits. A rape conviction won’t let them steal all your stuff, a drug indictment will.

Not an excuse, but as with nearly everything in the US, follow the money.