Rape Kits Often Go Untested For Decades

Mar 5, 2018

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of rape kits never get tested. Albuquerque, New Mexico has a plan to fix that. We’re hearing it.

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Mayor Tim Keller, mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico. (@MayorKeller)

Jessica Contrera, features reporter for the Washington Post. (@mjcontrera)

Angelica Wind, executive director of Our VOICE, Buncombe County, North Carolina’s rape crisis and prevention center.

From The Reading List:

Washington Post: Decades’ worth of rape kits are finally being tested. No one can agree on what to do next. — “Today, the Justice Department recommends that all rape kits associated with a reported crime be submitted for DNA analysis. But up until just last year, there were no national requirements or guidelines on what to do with them.”

There could be more than 400,000 untested rape kits across America. Four hundred thousand pieces of evidence, leads, possible breakthroughs on decades old sexual assault cases. Several cities are working through the backlog. Testing, checking DNA against a national database. But what should those cities do with the results? Especially when some victims have moved forward with their lives, and looking back brings renewed trauma?

This hour, On Point: Testing thousands of rape kits, and what do to with the results.

Meghna Chakrabarti

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