A week after a city controller's audit showed a backlog of 7,038 "rape kits" awaiting testing, the mayor and police chief of Los Angeles announced plans to increase staffing and funding to analyze the stored evidence.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, under the plan the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) would provide $700,000 to hire 10 more DNA analysts and six support staff—a third more than the current staff level—and the city would add $250,000 to pay private laboratories to help the LAPD catch up. However, even if the City Council approves the proposal, it would still fall about $900,000 short of what the LAPD needs this year to clear 2,500 cases and millions more will be needed in subsequent years—money that the city hopes will come from private and federal funds.
DNA evidence that's contained in the kits can often make the difference between convicting a rapist or setting the perpetrator free. As L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put it at the press conference yesterday announcing the plan, "When crimes are committed, particularly the heinous crimes of rape, we have a solemn obligation to seek justice."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 10/22/08; LA Times 10/28/08; MyFox Los Angeles 10/28/08
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .