House Passes Grant for Processing Untested Rape Kits
The House of Representatives passed the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2008 last week, which will help process a backlog of rape kits across the country. The Act provides funds for a grant program that started in 2004, with the objective to process the nearly 400,000 untested rape kits nationwide. In the United States, more than 200,000 rapes are reported to authorities each year. Thousands of victims agree to a rape kits, an invasive process that can take up to six hours. These individuals are often unaware that the critical evidence gathered is never tested.
The Washington Post reports that the proportion of rape victims who report the crime has increased. However, rape arrests have decreased in the face of growing backlogs in evidence processing. Most states are not required to notify victims about the processing of their rape kit.
The backlog of untested rape evidence within the kits has been attributed to lack of financial resources. However, over the past four years, Congress has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars for states to conduct DNA testing for sexual assaults. Failure to process rape kits is linked to states "failure to treat rape as seriously as other violent crimes", while other non-sexual violent crime evidence is regularly processed, reports the Washington Post.
Media Resources: Washington Post 7/22/08, Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate 7/10/08
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .