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Thousands of Untested Rape Kits in Detroit

March 1st, 2010  |  Published in Uncategorized

Dani  3/1/2010

It has been reported that thousands of rape kits are languishing untested on the shelves of Police Department evidence storage in Detroit, MI. Numbers vary, with some sources stating there are 10,00 and some stating that there are more than 12,000. Rape kits are evidence taken from a sexual assault victim after a claim of rape is made. This procedure is invasive and in many cases traumatic for the victim. Every rape kit currently shelved in Detroit represents human victim. Testing these kits offers the opportunity to verify victims’ reports, match DNA evidence to the crime and make certain that the correct assailant is captured.
Recently, a STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) grant designed to combat violence against women, was made to help the Detroit Police Department begin testing the backlog of kits. This grant, while a step in the right direction, does not begin to cover the full cost of testing, processing and investigation. This situation, unfortunately, is not unique to Detroit. This is occurring nation-wide as police forces are facing budget restraints and there are very few laws requiring the timely testing of DNA evidence.
Below are several links to articles that will provide further information about this issue. Please take the time to read them and educate yourself about this problem.
Rape is all too common in this country and it the job of our police officers to serve and protect victims who have been sexually assaulted. We must spread awareness of this issue with the understand that it is endemic and stems not only from monetary constraints but also from a lack of prioritizing and prosecuting violence against women.

Photo Courtesy (CBS)

For more information on this story, please visit our source links:

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100208/METRO01/2080330/Grant-targets-backlog-of-rape-kits-at-Detroit-Police-lab#ixzz0gtwpJjdh

Human Rights Watch:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/10/02/detroit-s-rape-kits-must-be-checked

This problem is occurring in varying degrees across the nation.
For coverage of this issue across the nation:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/10/cbsnews_investigates/main5605770.shtml

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