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
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .