Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. When the survivor reports the assault, a doctor or nurse conducts an invasive and exhaustive examination of the victim’s entire body for DNA evidence left behind by the attacker—a process that takes four to six hours. That evidence is collected and preserved in a sexual assault evidence kit, also called a rape kit.
When tested, DNA evidence found in rape kits can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve and prevent crime, identify unknown assailants and connect the suspect to other crime scenes. Rape kits can also exonerate the wrongly convicted or accused.
But to do any of this, rape kits must be tested. Because no federal law requires such testing, hundreds of thousands of rape kits are currently lingering in storage, untested, leaving numerous cases unsolved.
Thankfully, more than half of all states have enacted reforms to end the backlog of rape kits and require testing. It’s time for all states to join them.
Urge the South Carolina legislature to end the backlog of rape kits and enact reforms today!
On behalf of thousands of rape survivors, we urge you to immediately pass legislation ending the rape kit backlog.