New Rape Kit Law: Will It Ever Pass?

April Peveteaux

rape kit bill in congressThere are between 400,000 and 500,000 rape kits sitting in storage, untested and useless in helping to capture rapists all over the U.S. So how many rapists are walking the streets, free to rape again?

A new bipartisan bill presented by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) proposes funding to hire crime lab employees who specifically test rape kits, and help reduce the back log of untested kits sitting in storage all over the U.S.

For some women, justice is already too late as the kit that holds evidence condemning their attacker sits there until time runs out to prosecute the man who viciously raped her.

According to Rep. Maloney, other crime scene DNA is usually processed within hours. But some rape kits, which contain DNA that could lead to the prosecution of an offender, sometimes go untouched for 10 years -- exceeding the statue of limitations.

The question is, in an election year, in a Congress that is fiercely partisan -- can this bill to help women even get passed? It may seem like a no-brainer since our country cannot function without laws and justice. And if a New York Democrat and a Texas Republican can agree, surely everyone else will follow suit.

But you can already hear the opposition lining up against "No more spending!" While hundreds of thousands of women, who had to endure a four-hour examination after being brutally attacked, live in fear that the men who raped them will never be behind bars.

Let's make sure the SAFER Act gets passed. Contact your Representative today and ask them to support this bill.


Image via Wonderlane/Flickr

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