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Investigative Report: How Victim-Blaming Led to the Rape Kit Backlog

“I honestly understand why a lot of people don’t report rape,” Kiyona Phillips told RH Reality Check in an interview. “Because if you’re not half-dead or beat in the face or it’s not recorded in any kind of way, you really have to prove that this happened to you.”

In cases of rape, the “he said, she said” dilemma has outgrown the realm of legitimate legal query, and has instead come to justify the systemic failure of police and prosecutors nationwide to properly process forensic evidence that could lead to more sexual assault convictions, and also to identifying serial rapists who otherwise remain at large.

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Rape Kits: A Decade and A Billion Dollars Later, Why Can’t We Fix the Backlog?

A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

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New Maryland Law to Address Long-Standing Rape Kit Backlog

Marylanders will soon know the extent of the rape kit backlog in their state—a first step in trimming the backlog—under a new law signed in April by GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.

Marylanders will soon know the extent of the rape kit backlog in their state—a first step in trimming the backlog—under a new law signed in April by GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.

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Maryland Legislators Look to Tackle Rape Kit Backlog

Maryland legislators, buoyed by a national campaign and the commitment of federal resources, are considering legislation to eventually clear the backlog of sexual assault forensic kits in the state.

Maryland legislators, buoyed by a national campaign and the commitment of federal resources, are considering legislation to eventually clear the backlog of sexual assault forensic kits in the state.

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Rape Kit Testing Law Passes, Heads to Ohio Governor’s Desk

The Ohio house passed a bill Wednesday meant to completely clear a backlog of untested rape kits in law enforcement offices across the state. After the unanimous passage of SB 316, the bill now heads to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for a signature.

The Ohio house passed a bill Wednesday meant to completely clear a backlog of untested rape kits in law enforcement offices across the state. After the unanimous passage of SB 316, the bill now heads to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for a signature.

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New York City Commits $35 Million to Test Rape Kits Nationwide

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it has committed up to $35 million to fund the clearance of rape kit backlogs across the country. The initiative, which was launched in partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation’s End the Backlog program, is the single largest-ever financial contribution towards ending the rape kit backlog.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it has committed up to $35 million to fund the clearance of rape kit backlogs across the country, in partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation’s End the Backlog program.

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Money to Process Rape Kits Falls Victim to Congressional Budget Squabbles

After months of squabbling, Congress last week was unable to pass a budget bill that included funding to decrease the backlog in rape kits across the country.

After months of squabbling, Congress last week was unable to pass a budget bill that included funding to decrease the backlog in rape kits across the country.

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New Jersey’s Governor is Taking His Time on a Rape Kit Bill

A bill to ensure that sexual assault survivors don’t get billed for the kits used to collect forensic evidence overwhelmingly passed the state legislature, but Governor Chris Christie  seems slow to sign it. 

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Election 2010: Minnesota Candidate Thinks Rape Victims Should Pay Rape Kit Costs

Should the state put someone who tried to make rape victims pay for part of their rape kits in charge of a domestic assault recovery program?

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LA Rape Kits Left to Rot

As a Law and Order: SVU junkie of sorts, I always assumed that there would be a sassy female detective pestering the crime lab to ensure that any sexual offender would be tracked down and reprimanded for their crime, making sure that every bit of evidence is tested. But when it comes to the handling of rape kits, life doesn’t always imitate television.

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