Sexual Assault Kit Backlog
Today, the federal government announced that more than $34 million in grant funding has been awarded to 20 jurisdictions to help them address the backlog of untested rape kits.
This funding will provide communities with much needed resources to: supplement efforts to test backlogged kits in law enforcement facilities; create multidisciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute cases connected to the backlog; and address the need for victim notification and survivor re-engagement with the criminal justice system.
Since 2014, Congress has allocated $131 million for the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant program. These focused resources are helping law enforcement get serial criminals off of the street, easing the burden on personnel, facilitating community engagement and relationship building, and making communities safer. Importantly, these funds are also providing a path to justice and healing for survivors of sexual assault.
Across the country, however, tens of thousands of kits remain untested, perpetrators remain free to commit more crimes, and survivors wait for justice. Without continued federal funding, the progress we have made may not be sustained.
Joyful Heart Foundation – 10/4/2017